2020 Census

What is the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, 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).

The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency, every ten (10) years. Most homes will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail. This will mark the first time that you will be able to respond to the census online.

One of the best ways you can show your support for the 2020 Census is by making sure you know the facts. Review the basics of the 2020 Census and how the Census Bureau protects your data—and then share these facts with partners, clients, friends, and family.

Why does it matter to me?

  • Your responses inform where over $675 billion is distributed each year to communities nationwide for clinics, schools, roads, and more.
  • 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.
  • Your responses are used to redraw legislative districts and determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Important Dates

March 12 - 20: Homes across the country will begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: 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.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.

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.

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. 

What you won’t be asked.

The census will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything related to political parties. 

Address Canvassing

Find out more about the U.S Census Bureau’s Address Canvassing operations: What it is, why it’s done, and how to confirm an Address Canvasser’s credentials.