Census 2020

March 2, 2020

Every 10 years, households throughout the country receive Census forms. The Census is intended to help the federal government determine the population count. Once completed, the Census data is delivered to Congress and the President by law. An accurate count helps the government determine how to distribute federal funding, political representation, and make other major decisions.

There’s often a lot of confusion and, in some cases, concern about how to fill out the Census and why it matters. This toolkit provides you with resources to support your work in making sure that your community members fill out their Census forms.

What the Census Means


The Constitution mandates that every 10 years, a Census is conducted to ensure that all residents in the country are accounted for. There are a number of reasons it’s extremely important for everyone to fill out their Census form.


As state population changes, so does the number of political representatives the state gets in Congress. An accurate count of residents in your community helps determine how many members of the House

of Representatives your state gets, and guarantees you have the political representation you deserve.


Political representation is also affected at the state level. State and local officials use Census data to redistrict for elected officials within the state, so that each individual has equal voting power.


Census data keeps you and your neighbors safe. In the event of an emergency, first responders use Census data to identify the number of potential victims and ascertain how much aid is required. Incomplete data can result in less help during a disaster.


The Census helps the federal government determine how much funding to provide to your community. In total, it’s $675 billion in funding that goes to a number of things:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Roads
  • Public Transportation 3 Housing

The fewer people that participate, the less political power and federal money a state would get, which goes towards programs like Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, and section 8 housing vouchers. Fill out your Census form today and benefit yourself and your community! For more information, visit 2020census.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions



How does the census work?

The Census Bureau hires volunteers to collect Census data. Beginning in March 2020, Census forms will be mailed to households around the country. People can respond online, by mail, or by phone.

If no response is received, a volunteer will come to your home to follow up in person. Census Day is officially April 1st.

What questions do they ask? What data is recorded?

Volunteers collect information on basic population characteristics, including age, gender, marital status, race, household composition, and household size. The Census does not collect information on undocumented immigrants.

What if I don’t want to answer these questions? Are my answers confidential?

By law, the Census Bureau is required to protect the confidentiality of all personal information collected. The Bureau takes great precautions to keep everything strictly confidential, and volunteers who violate this law can face strict criminal penalties, including up to $250,000 in fines and five years in prison.

But what if I’m not an American citizen?

The Trump Administration unsuccessfully tried to add a citizenship question to the census, which was later removed. However, it is illegal for the Census Bureau to disclose any personally identifiable information, such as someone’s name, and it is illegal for census data to be used for things like immigration enforcement and criminal prosecution.

It’s important that you answer questions truthfully—regardless of your immigration status, you will be safe answering the Census.

What if I don’t know an answer to a question, or choose not to answer?

Incomplete Census forms are also counted. If you don’t know how to answer a question, or are uncomfortable answering a certain question, you can fill out as much of the Census as you’d like and will still be counted, benefiting yourself, your neighbors and your community.

For more information, visit 2020census.gov, and don’t forget to fill out your census form this spring!

Sample Census Ballot 2020