Alexandria Complete Count Committee

The Alexandria Complete Count Committee will encourage all residents to participate in the 2020 Census. They will focus extra attention on engaging Alexandria communities that have historically been undercounted. These groups include racial and ethnic minority groups, renters, children under the age of 5, communities in Arlandria, and communities in the West End.

Page updated on May 11, 2020 at 12:22 PM

Committee Mission and Composition

On September 11, 2018, City Council approved Resolution 2842 establishing a Complete Count Committee (‘Committee’) to ensure that all City residents participate in the 2020 U.S. Census. On February 12, 2019, City Council approved Resolution 2867 to incorporate minor text edits as well as approve staff recommendations for appointments to the Committee. The 2020 Census is the opportunity to collect the most accurate count of U.S. residents for the next decade. The purpose of the Committee is to encourage all Alexandria residents to participate in the 2020 Census by working with staff to develop and implement an outreach strategy focused especially on communities that have been historically undercounted, namely communities in Arlandria, Alexandria West, Beauregard, and Landmark; families with children under the age of 5; renter households; Black or African American residents; and Hispanic residents. 

Complete Count Committee Work Plan

Following the first Complete Count Committee Meeting on March 28, 2019, City staff developed a work plan based on Committee members' discussion. The work plan is a living document that will be used to compile and align Committee activities, and as such will be updated as the Committee continues to build its outreach strategy and programming. 

Meeting Information


Subcommittee meetings

Marketing and Communications Subcommittee

Outreach Subcommittee

Partnerships Subcommittee

Schools Subcommittee



The U.S. Constitution requires the Federal Government to conduct a national census every ten years. The next Census will be in April of 2020. To make this census as accurate a count of the country's population as possible, the U.S. Census Bureau has requested that local governments establish “complete count committees to encourage local residents to participate in the Census.   

The City's official population figures for 1990, 2000, and 2010 were not adjusted by the Federal Government to take into consideration population undercounts. An undercount for 2020 will have three effects for the city. First, Alexandria residents will be underrepresented during reapportionment of U.S. House of Representatives seats. Second, it will mean less money from the Federal Government which distributes certain monetary grants based on Census data (e.g., Head Start funding is allocated based on the number of low-income children in a jurisdiction). Third, an accurate census count allows the City to plan its programs, services and land use with more confidence and accuracy. The ability to plan is further jeopardized because future periodic, between-census American Community Surveys will use the 2020 U.S. Census as a base; if the base is inaccurate the data from future surveys will also be inaccurate.   

The Census Bureau identified hard-to-count tracts based on the share of households that mailed back their census questionnaires in 2010. A tract is considered “hard to count” if fewer than 73 percent of households returned their completed questionnaires. In Alexandria, hard-to-count tracts are located in and around the Alexandria West, Beauregard, Landmark, and Arlandria neighborhoods.   

At a national level, certain demographic groups are more likely to be undercounted. The undercount was highest among minorities with an 2.06% undercount of the nation’s non-Hispanic Black population and a 1.54% of the nation’s Hispanic population. Renters were undercounted by 1.09%, and children under the age of 4 were undercounted by 0.72%. As a result, minorities, renters, and families with children especially should be targets of the 2020 Complete Count Committee's efforts.


Questions? Let us know!

Contact Katherine Carraway, Urban Planner, 703.746.3855.