Article 1, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790. The Census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.
Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau.
A complete and accurate count is critical for you and your community because the results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation and more. The disbursement of more than $900 is at stake for 325 federal programs including Head Start, Medicaid, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance Program, Education, etc.
- How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020. This will help us count the entire U.S. population and ensure that we count people according to where they live.
- Whether the home is owned or rented. This will help us produce statistics about homeownership and renting. The rates of homeownership serve as one indicator of the nation's economy. They also help in administering housing programs and informing planning decisions.
- About the sex of each person in your home. This allows us to create statistics about males and females, which can be used in planning and funding government programs. This data can also be used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination.
- About the age of each person in your home. The U.S. Census Bureau creates statistics to better understand the size and characteristics of different age groups. Agencies use this data to plan and fund government programs that support specific age groups, including children and older adults.
- About the race of each person in your home. This allows us to create statistics about race and to provide other statistics by racial groups. This data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
- About whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. These responses help create statistics about this ethnic group. This is needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
- About the relationship of each person in your home. This allows the Census Bureau to create estimates about families, households, and other groups. Relationship data is used in planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone.
NOTE: Citizenship will NOT be asked in the questionnaire or by any Census workers.
(Governments, businesses, communities, and nonprofits all rely on the data that these questions produce to make critical decisions.)
During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:
- Your Social Security number.
- Money or donations.
- Anything on behalf of a political party.
- Your bank or credit card account numbers.
For the first time, the Census Bureau will have online questionnaires. Residents may use their computers or mobile phones to complete the Census. For those who don’t go online or call in their responses, paper forms will be distributed and Census workers will go to homes not counted.
No. So, we must ask everyone to participate.
We will work hardest in hard-to-count areas, which are areas where less than 30 percent of the population self-reports.
Hard-to-Count communities are typically comprised of families living on lower incomes, renters, minorities, veterans, and others who are more transient.