About 2020 Census

What is the Census?

Every 10 years the U.S. Constitution requires a headcount of every person living in the United States, regardless of age, immigration status, or type of residency. The census population count determines political and legislative representation and how federal funding is distributed to states and cities.

Census counts every person (not citizen) in the United States wherever they live and sleep as of April 1, 2020, regardless of immigration status, income, or the type of housing including people living in prisons, college dorms, shelters, outdoors. Children living in foster care or with grandparents are counted where they live and sleep most of the time.

Census is online, by phone, or in a paper form. This will be the first online census with the website going live in Mid-March. People will also be able to fill out the census by phone or by a paper form they can mail in.

What to expect for the 2020 U.S. Census:

As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. The data determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment) and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

The 2020 Census will require counting an increasingly diverse and growing population of around 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units. To get an accurate count, the Census Bureau must build an accurate address list of every housing unit, maximize self-response to the census, and efficiently follow up with those who do not respond.

The decennial census is the largest mobilization and operation conducted in the United States and requires years of research, planning, and development of methods and infrastructure to ensure an accurate and complete count.

March/April 2020: Starting in mid-March, all households will receive a census package instructing them to complete their census from online. These will be sent via mail or delivered by a census worker in some rural and all remote areas. Areas that have limited access to internet will receive a paper questionnaire at this time.

May 2020 – July 2020: By this time, residents have had the opportunity to complete their forms for at least six weeks. Additional census workers and efforts will target residents that have not responded.

What questions are on the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census form will have a short set of fewer than 10 questions about the number of people living in your household, their ages, race, ethnicity, marital status, and housing type.