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Frequently Asked Questions

A census is an official count or survey of a population. The U.S. Constitution mandates a population count each decade, or every 10 years. The next decennial census takes place on April 1, 2020

The decennial census is important because it provides a snapshot of the entire nation. It is mandated by the Constitution and determines a state’s representation in the U.S House of Representatives. Additionally, population data from the census determines critical funding that states receive. 

The decennial census typically asks questions of people in homes and group living situations, including how many people live or stay in each household, and the gender, age, and race of each person. Questions asked on the census include:

  • The number of people living or staying in a home on April 1, 2020
  • Whether the home is owned with or without a mortgage, rented or occupied with rent
  • A phone number for a person in the home
  • The name, sex, age, date of birth and race of each person in the home
  • Whether each person is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin
  • The relationship of each person to a central person in the home.

You can view an example of 2020 questionnaire on the Census Bureau’s website here. 

The Census Bureau will NOT ask you or any members of your household to provide your Social Security Number or your citizenship status. 

The Census Bureau will send employees, sometimes referred to as enumerators, to visit households who have not responded to the 2020 census questionnaire. They will be clearly identified as Census Bureau employees and they will ask you to fill out the survey while they are there.

The Census Bureau will conduct a separate enumeration for people living in group quarters.  For college students, this count will begin in March 2020. Please visit the  Census Bureau, to learn more about how students and other residents who live in different facilities will be enumerated. 

College students should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. College and university administrators will count students living on-campus during a specified enumeration period. However, students living off-campus will need to respond to the census questionnaire themselves. 

According to the Census Bureau, you count the number of children that are present in a household on April 1st, 2020. If the child has not been delivered by April 1st, the baby will not be counted until the next decennial census. 

Yes, if a grandchild is living with you full time, they should be counted on your census form. If they are sharing time between two physical locations (say their parents’ home and your home equally) they should be counted at the home they are at on April 1, 2020.  

Yes, the census will be available in 13 languages. In addition to English, the census will also be made available in Arabic, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Telephone responses will be accepted in these 13 languages. Paper forms will be printed in English and Spanish. Additionally, language guides and glossaries will be available in 59 non-English languages, including Braille and American Sign Language.

Beginning March 2020, households will receive a postcard in the mail, with the option to fill out the census questionnaire either online, by phone, or request a paper copy. Visit the Census Bureau website to view a general timeline.

Yes. According to the Census Bureau, non-census workers can assist neighbors, friends and loved ones in completing the census.

If you need assistance completing your 2020 census questionnaire, you can visit a Census Hub in your local community. Essentially, Census Hubs are publicly accessible spaces where people can ask questions about the census, receive support from trained staff members and complete the census online using available computers or mobile devices. Census Hubs are located in familiar community spaces, including libraries, community centers, and some faith-based organizations.

 

The Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you or your home, even to law enforcement agencies. Census Bureau employees are bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. In fact, every employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life. Visit the Census Bureau website to learn more information on how your information is being protected.

The Census Bureau is actively seeking individuals to apply for thousands of local job openings in the region. Eligible candidates should be 18 years or older and current U.S. citizens. Visit 2020Census.gov/jobs for more
information and to apply.