What is a census and why is it important?
The census is a count of every person who lives in the United States and its territories. It happens every 10 years. In early 2020, all residents will be asked to count everyone who lives in their home as of April 1.
Getting a complete count in 2020 requires everyone’s help. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and other organizations have a role to play in making sure our community is accurately counted when the federal government determines how to distribute more than $675 billion annually for new roads, hospitals, housing, schools and other important projects.
Click here for more information.
How the census benefits your community
- Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.
- Local government officials use the census to ensure public safety and plan new schools and hospitals.
- Businesses use Census Bureau data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and these create jobs.
- Real estate developers and city planners use the census to plan new homes and improve neighborhoods.
WHO TO COUNT
If you are filling out the census for your home, you should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This includes anyone who is living and sleeping there most of the time. Here are some facts to keep in mind when filling out the census:
- It is important to remember that everyone living in a household, temporarily or permanently, relative or friend, needs to be included in the 2020 Census.
- Snowbirds should be aware their census information should reflect their primary residence.
- Newborn babies and young children under five are often missed in the census. Young children who are missed tend to live with large, extended families or with multiple families living under one roof.
- Renters - If you rent an apartment or home, make sure you are counted too.
For more information on who to count, including young children and those with special circumstances (military, college students, people who are moving, ect.), please click here.
It is against the law for the Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household. By law, your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce statistics. Learn more about how your answers are protected below:
2020 Census and Confidentiality
2020 Census and Confidentiality (Spanish)
Avoid Census Scams
The 2020 Census will NOT ask for:
- Social security numbers
- Bank account or credit card numbers
- Citizenship status
Click here to learn about other ways to protect yourself against Census fraud and how to report it.
when can we respond to the census?
- March 12 - 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.
- April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
- April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
- May - July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
U.S Census Bureau at a Glance - https://www.census.gov/about/what/census-at-a-glance.html