What is the 2020 Census?

  • The 2020 Census is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

Why is the Census important to our schools?

  • The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.

    Every community is full of possibilities, which is why the 2020 United States Census wants to ensure that everyone is counted.

    The results of the 2020 Census will inform decisions about allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to communities across the country—for hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, and other critical programs and services.

What you need to know

    • Census data are being used all around you.
      • Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness.
      • Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
      • Real estate developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.
      • Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, which create jobs.
    • Everyone counts. The census counts every person living in the United States once, only once and in the right place.
    • It’s about fair representation. Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives.
    • It’s about $675 billion. The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties and communities are based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
    • Your privacy is protected. It’s 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.
    • Taking part is your civic duty. Completing the census is mandatory: it’s a way to participate in our democracy and say “I COUNT!”

Dates to keep in mind

  • 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.

Ways to respond

    1. Secure Internet
      New and quick, respond online. It’s safe, secure and confidential. Your information and privacy are protected. It’s economical both for you and for the taxpayers. It’s greener saving trees and it’s user friendly– offering you help screens and the ability to review your answers.

    1. Respond by Phone
      Census enumerators are ready to take your information question by question from the convenience of your phone.

    1. Respond by Mail
      Wait until you receive your paper form through the mail or dropped at your residence. It can be filled out at home and dropped into your mailbox or post office.

    1. In-person Interview
      Census enumerators will visit and quickly interview residences that choose not to self-respond.