What is the 2020 Census?
- The Census will provide a snapshot of our nation -- who we are, where we live, and so much more.
- The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands).
- The population count is required by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 2) and is conducted by a nonpartisian government agency called the U.S. Census Bureau.
- The Census counts the population every 10 years. The 2020 Census marks the 24th time that the country has counted its poplulation since 1790.
- Participation in the Census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau.
Why is the 2020 Census Important?
- The Census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community for the next decade.
- Each year, billions of federal dollars go to schools, hospitals, fire departments, roads, and other resources based on census data.
- The Census count is very important to education. Results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program, grants to support teachers and special education, school lunch program, student education grants, and more.
- The Census results also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
Who is required to take the 2020 Census?
- If you live in the United States, District of Columbia or one of the five U.S. Territories on April 1, 2020 you are required by law to complete the 2020 Census.
- You should count everyone living under your roof as of April 1, 2020. This includes any friends or family members living and sleeping there most of the time. You should count roommates, young children, newborns, any anyone who is renting space in your home. If you do not count them, they can miss out on resources for themselves and their communities over the next 10 years.
- It is important to remember to count any children who are living with you. All children living in your home on April 1, 2020: foster children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, children of friends living with you temporarily, children who split their time between homes (if they are living with you on April 1st), newborn babies born on or before April 1st (even if still in hospital).
- College students who are living at home on April 1 should be counted at their home address. College students who are living at college, away from home on April 1 should be counted at the on- or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time.
- Military personnel who live in housing units at military installations, barracks or military campgrounds are counted at their location (not at your home) on April 1st.
- People living in emergency or transitional shelters, or homeless should be counted at their shelter.
How do I take the 2020 Census?
- In mid-March, households will begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. See sample invitation. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail.
- April 1 is Census Day, which means that by this date all homes across the country should have received an invitation to take the 2020 Census. When you resond to the census, you will indicate where you live as of April 1, 2020.
- Census takers will begin visiting college students living on campus, senior centers, and others living in large groups in April.
- Census takers will begin visiting homes that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census in May through July.
What questions are asked on the 2020 Census?
- The 2020 Census is easy to take. You will answer a simple questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is living with you on April 1, 2020.
- Census questions include: the number of people living at your home, what type of residence you live in, and your telephone number. For each person living at your address, you will be asked to provide their name(s), sex, age, date of birth, country of origin, and race.
- The Census will never ask you about citizenship, social security number, money/donations, anything on behalf of a political party, or your credit card/account number.
- Your personal information is kept confidential. It is protected by federal law and can only be used for statistical purposes. Your responses are compiled with information from other homes to produce statistics, which never identify your home or any person in your home.
Sample 2020 Census Form - English / Spanish
Is the 2020 Census Safe and Confidential?
- Yes, the 2020 Census is safe and confidential. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by federal law to protect your answers and personal information, and keep them strictly confidential.
- The Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business -- even to law enforcement agencies. Your private data is protected and cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.
- The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous. Your responses cannot be released publically in any way to identify you or anyone else in your home.
- Strict policies and statistical safeguards are in place to protect the confidentiality of your information.
- The U.S. Census Bureau protects your data using industry best practices and federal requirements. Their IT infrastructure is designed to defend against and contain cyberthreats.
For more information and resources, visit www.2020census.gov