Census 2020

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What is the census? 

The census is a count of every person who lives in the United States and its territories. It happens every 10 years. In early 2020, you will be asked to count everyone who lives in your home as of April 1. Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape your future. 

Our nation’s founders believed this data was so important that they mandated the decennial census in the Constitution.


To make sure you are counted, learn more about the 2020 Census by visiting 2020census.gov.
(Por información en Español)

Understanding the Census

The census is much more than just a head count. It provides a picture of our nation that helps determine where to build new schools, hospitals, and businesses; how federal funding is distributed; and how congressional seats are apportioned.

Your responses inform where over $675 billion is distributed each year to communities nationwide for clinics, schools, roads, and more.

It also helps the federal government see how our communities have changed over time. That’s why an accurate count is so important.

 Why the Count is Conducted
 

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

 Easy and Convenient

 
In 2020, for the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online, but you can still respond by phone or mail if you prefer.

 Confidential and Secure

 
Strict federal law protects your census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual or business. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private.

The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.

No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding our community receives.

The Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, bank or credit card account numbers, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party.

The Census Bureau has a robust cybersecurity program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.

 What kind of questions are asked?
 

For general  information about what  questions are asked, including questions that will never be asked, and how to avoid fraud and scams,  click here.


 

 
If you hear false information about the census, or are wondering whether a rumor you heard is true, contact rumors@census.gov.

 

Por información en Español