Official State of Iowa Website

Census Challenges

Challenges to Decennial Counts

The U.S. Census Bureau accepts challenge submissions from governmental units beginning January 2022 under the Bureau's Count Question Resolution (CQR) program.. All challenges have to be received by the Census Bureau no later than June 30, 2023. The CQR program accepts three types of challenges from local and tribal governments:

  • Boundary cases. CQR can review the legal boundaries in effect for governmental units as of January 1, 2020. It can also review the associated addresses affected by the boundaries.
  • Housing count cases. CQR can review the geographic location or placement of housing and its associated population . It can also review 2020 census results to determine whether census processing error(s) excluded valid housing and associated population data.
  • Both boundary and housing count cases.

CQR does not review population counts for group quarter facilities such as nursing homes, college/university student residence halls, or correctional facilities.

If the Census Bureau makes any corrections based on a CQR review:

  • It will not change apportionment counts, redistricting data, 2020 Census counts, or any other 2020 Census data products.
  • Tribal, state, and local areas will have higher quality information throughout the decade.
  • The Census Bureau will use the corrected counts in the baseline used to calculate its annual population estimates.
  • Corrected counts can help governments plan and apply for future funding.

More information

Information about the CQR program:


Challenges to Population Estimates

The Population Estimates Challenge Program is temporarily suspended as of January, 2020.

The program is suspended during both the decennial census year and the following year to accommodate the taking of the 2020 Census. During this time, the Census Bureau will not provide the operations necessary to review the July 1, 2019 population estimates. A Federal Register Notice announcing the resumption of the program will be posted in 2022. The program is expected to resume in 2023. The Federal Register Notice announcing the suspension of the Population Estimates Challenge Program can be accessed here:

During regular operations, as part of its authorization, the U.S. Census Bureau offers an opportunity for general-purpose governmental units to challenge their official estimates through the Population Estimates Challenge Program. Under this program, a governmental unit may challenge their population estimate by submitting additional data to the Census Bureau for evaluation.

A challenge may result in a revised estimate if either of the following errors are found:

  1. Technical error in processing input data or producing the estimates
  2. Incorrect input data used in the process of generating the estimates

In cases where the Census Bureau processed the information correctly but was provided incorrect input data, we will make reasonable efforts to provide corrected estimates.

A request for a challenge to the population estimates must be received within 90 days after the release of the estimate by the Census Bureau. This request includes a letter and supporting evidence.

More information about challenges to population estimates is on the Census Bureau's Web site at