Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Census? 

As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census is a once-every-decade count of everyone living in the country. 

In March of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will send every household an invitation to complete a simple questionnaire about who lives at your address on April 1st. 


Why is it important?

When we know how many people live in your community, organizations, and businesses are better equipped to evaluate the services and programs needed, such as clinics, schools, and roads. It also determines how seats in Congress are distributed among the 50 states.

  • Your responses inform where over $675 billion is distributed each year to communities nationwide for clinics, schools, roads, and more. 
  • They are used to redraw legislative districts and determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. 
  • Census data gives community leaders vital information to make decisions about building community centers, opening businesses, and planning for the future. 
  • Responding also fulfills your civic duty because it’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.


What will I be asked?

You will be asked a few simple questions, like age, sex, and the number of people who live in your home, including children. The census will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything related to political parties. 

View Sample Questionaire: English | Spanish

View Survey Question Explanations: English | Spanish


Is my information safe?

Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. They cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way—not by the FBI, not by the CIA, not by the DHS, and not by ICE. 


When can I respond to the Census?

In early 2020, every household in America will receive a notice to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that have yet to respond.

View Invitation Example: English

How the Census Invites Everyone: English | Spanish



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