Brookings Counts in the 2020 Census

Brookings, S.D. (3/12/2020) – This week and over the next month, residents may notice a letter or postcard in their mailbox from the U.S. Census Bureau or the U.S. Department of Commerce. Community members should be aware, it isn’t junk mail, and it shouldn’t be thrown away. The envelope contains an invitation to complete the 2020 Census by mail, online, or by phone. All community members who live in Brookings for most of the year must count themselves as a resident of Brookings in the 2020 Census. This includes individuals who have vacation homes elsewhere and also SDSU students. The most undercounted individuals within the City of Brookings are students who live off-campus.

The U.S. Census is more than just a population count; it will help to shape the future of our community for the next ten years. A full count of all individuals in our area is essential to determine how billions of federal dollars will be dispersed so our community will receive its fair share of funding for critical resources. Census data is not only used for federal purposes, but it is also used by local government, businesses, and organizations in their planning and decision-making processes. “I am asked frequently about how we can get new businesses and restaurants into town,” says Brookings Mayor Keith Corbett. “That’s why the Census is so important; population size matters when companies are considering whether or not they will come to our community. A complete count could potentially help to bring new businesses, eating establishments, and more shopping to town.”

In May of 2019, Brookings City Council approved a resolution establishing the Brookings Complete Count Committee. It was established to promote the 2020 Census and to help to ensure that all residents within the community are counted. Since then the committee has developed a Brookings Counts 2020 Census campaign to spread awareness and to encourage residents and organizations to take action. They recently created a website,, where citizens can educate themselves about the importance of the Census and find information that is relevant to them. The site also includes resources that give community groups and individuals tools that make it easy to be involved and help ramp up Brooking’s efforts to get a complete and accurate count.

Key Dates:

  • Census letters start reaching homes starting Thursday, March 12th continuing through the month of April.
  • By April 1st, which is National Census Day, all households will have received a 2020 census questionnaire invitation via mail.
  • By May, households who have not completed the 2020 Census survey will begin to receive reminder phone calls or an in-person visit by a US Census worker.

All Brookings City and County residents and students are encouraged to pledge to complete the 2020 census and to challenge their friends, families, neighbors, and other community members to do the same. A pledge and challenge graphic that can be shared on social media can be downloaded from the resources page on

News Flash Census Challenge


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