Data-Driven Campaign Design and Evaluation for Census 2020: Get Out the Count (GOTC) in Houston

REPORT : Aug. 20, 2020

census campaign

This document evaluates efforts undertaken by Houston in Action and partners across Harris County, Texasduring the 2020 “Say Yes to the Census” campaign. The primary goal is to understand whether efforts to contact individuals in Harris County and inform them about the 2020 Census had an impact on the 2020 Census response rates.

During Harris County’s Say Yes to the Census Campaign, Houston in Action, Rice University, and various partners engaged in three interrelated programs to support the 2020 Census. First, a machine learning model based on satellite images of Harris County was developed to identify households that might not receive a Census questionnaire. The second program involved a field experiment exploring various Census-related messages and their efficacy for motivating Census response. Finally, in-person and by-phone canvassing operations were conducted in an effort to inform residents about the 2020 Census and motivate them to respond. 

This document evaluates these efforts to understand whether they had an impact on the 2020 Census response rates.

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