Why is the census important?

2020 census numbers will determine the number of congressional seats and Electoral College votes for each state. It also informs how billions of federal dollars are dispersed.

When does the census start?

The official census day is April 1, 2020. Most households will be able to participate starting mid-March when letters and instructions will be mailed to households.

How is the census taken?

In 2020, all households will be able to respond online. Paper forms will still be available and there will be 1-800 numbers to give responses over the phone.

Who gets counted?

Every person living in the U.S. Residents are counted at the address where they usually live and sleep.

What questions does the census ask?

Questions will be similar to former census counts:
  • - the number of people living or staying in a home on April 1, 2020;
  • - if the home is owned with or without a mortgage, rented or occupied without 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;
  • - if each person is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin;
  • - and the relationship of each person to a central person in the home.
It is still unclear if there will be a citizenship question.

Are census responses confidential?

Yes. Federal law prohibits sharing any census responses that identify individuals until 72 years after the information is collected.

In what languages will the census be offered?

Paper forms will be available in English and Spanish. Phone and online responses can be provided in Spanish,Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog and Vietnamese. There will also be videos and guides produced in 59 non-english languages and in American Sign Language.

When will census results be released?

Results should be announced by December 31, 2020.