Audio Division Announces April 1 Effective Date for Use of 2020 U.S. Census Data in Applications

Posted on January 31st, 2023 by

The Media Bureau’s Audio Division has announced the availability of the most recent 2020 U.S. Census Bureau (U.S. Census) decennial census block, population, and cartographic boundary data. Effective April 1, 2023, petitioners/applicants submitting filings to the Audio Division must employ the most recent 2020 U.S. Census data available when determining a particular community’s population in addition to the population served and overlap of service areas to communities and Urbanized Areas.  The FCC also noted that it will retain the 2010 definition of “Urbanized Area” since the 2020 U.S. Census modified the definition in a way that would have altered how applicants could make compliant showings when the FCC’s rules or policies require consideration of Urbanized Areas.

While we don’t expect the April 1 effective date to result in an application rush, we do note that in some situations, the difference between 2010 and 2020 census numbers might affect a station’s ability to modify its facilities.  Stations should consult qualified consulting engineers to determine potential impacts or incentives for filing an application prior to April 1.