What is the decennial Census?

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to determine the number of people living in the United States.

Why do we have a Census?

Census data is used by the government in a variety of important decisions, including allocation $600 billion in federal funds each year; determination of where roads, bridges, and schools will be built; and apportionment of federal, state, and local government representatives for communities.

Who is counted in the Census?

The Census counts everyone who is living in the U.S.— regardless of citizenship.

How is the Census taken?

Most households will receive a mailing in February/March 2020 with options for self-response including completing the census online or calling the Census Bureau to complete the form via phone or request a form in the mail. There are special efforts underway by the Census Bureau to count the homeless and people living in group quarters such as nursing homes, student dormitories, and prisons.

What if I don’t complete the census form?

Households not completing a census form may be called or visited by a representative from the US Census Bureau. The best way to avoid having a Census worker come to your door is to self-respond to the census online or by phone.

What questions will be asked on the census?

Questions will included on the 2020 Census asking age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, relationship, and homeownership status. Despite earlier attempts by the Administration to add one, there will be NO question on citizenship status. See sample Census form here.

Is the Census only in English?

The internet self-response instrument and census questionnaire assistance will be available in 12 Non-English languages including Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese. Language glossaries and guides will be available in 59 Non-English languages.

Is information taken by the Census private?

Information given on the census form is confidential. By law, census information is not shared with any other government agency. Census workers take an oath to protect the pri­vacy of respondents and face jail time and/or heavy fines if they violate that oath.

Why should nonprofits care about the Census?

Many communities that are served by nonprofits are at risk of being under­counted in the Census, resulting in less funding and resources being al­located to those communities. Groups hardest-to-count are communities of color, low-income households, immigrants, and young children