The census asks questions that provide a snapshot of the nation. Census results affect your voice in government, how much funding your community receives, and how your community plans for the future.
When you fill out the census, you help:
- Determine how many seats your state gets in Congress.
- Guide how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
- Create jobs, provide housing, prepare for emergencies, and build schools, roads, and hospitals.POPULATION COUNT (NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING OR STAYING)We ask this question to collect an accurate count of the number of people at each address on Census Day, April 1, 2020. Each decade, census results determine how many seats your state gets in Congress. State and local officials use census counts to draw boundaries for districts like congressional districts, state legislative districts, and school districts.
Why We Ask
It only takes a few minutes to complete the census questionnaire. But it’s very important to you and your neighbors that you do. This is why:
We ask for names to ensure everyone in the house is counted. Listing the name of each person in the household helps respondents include all members, particularly in large households where a respondent may forget who was counted and who was not.
We ask about the sex of each person to create statistics about males and females. Census data about sex are used in planning and funding government programs, and in evaluating other government programs and policies to ensure they fairly and equitably serve the needs of males and females. These statistics are also used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination in government programs and in society.
AGE AND DATE OF BIRTH
We ask about the age and date of birth to understand the size and characteristics of different age groups and to present other data by age. Local, state, tribal, and federal agencies use age data to plan and fund government programs that provide assistance or services for specific age groups, such as children, working-age adults, women of childbearing age, or the older population. These statistics also help enforce laws, regulations, and policies against age discrimination in government programs and in society.
HISPANIC, LATINO, OR SPANISH ORIGIN
We ask about whether a person is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin to create statistics about this ethnic group. The data collected in this question are needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as under the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
We ask about a person’s race to create statistics about race and to present other statistics by race groups. The data collected in this question are needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as under the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. State governments use the data to determine congressional, state, and local voting districts.
WHETHER A PERSON LIVES OR STAYS SOMEWHERE ELSE
Our goal is to count people once, only once, and in the right place according to where they live on Census Day. Keeping this goal in mind, we ask this question to ensure individuals are not included at multiple addresses.
We ask about the relationship of each person in a household to one central person to create estimates about families, households, and other groups. Relationship data are used in planning and funding government programs that provide funds or services for families, people living or raising children alone, grandparents living with grandchildren, or other households that qualify for additional assistance.
Key Facts About the Census
● The census counts every person living in the United States, regardless of age or
citizenship status, every 10 years in years ending in 0.
● It’s in the Constitution.
● It’s about money, power, and data.
● Every 10 years we help decide how taxpayer dollars come back to our communities. The 2020 Census will help to distribute billions of dollars in federal resources to your community.
● Our community gets resources based on census population counts, that help pay for hospitals, emergency services, schools, roads, and more.
● An accurate and complete census helps businesses, community leaders and elected officials make informed decisions every day.
● For the first time, people can respond online and by phone, in addition to the mail-in option. Your response impacts funding for your community for critical services for the next 10 years.
● The next decennial census happens in 2030.
It’s safe and confidential
● Your data is protected and it’s confidential. Federal law protects your responses, which cannot be shared with law enforcement, immigration agencies, or housing authorities.
COVID-19 & the 2020 Census
● The 2020 Census is underway and the most important and safe thing you can do is respond online, by phone, or by mail. It has never been easier to respond to the 2020 Census.
● Responding now will minimize the need for the Census Bureau to send census takers out into communities to follow up with households.
● Please check this page regularly for updates and adjustments in response to COVID-19.
See the latest status of operations & current timeline.