The 2020 Census
What is the Census?
The census is mandated by the Constitution of the United States and has been conducted without fail every 10 years since 1790. The census is a complete count of all people living within the United States. You will be asked the sex, race, and age of all persons living in your household at the time you complete the questionnaire. It is critical that you note not only the permanent residents of your home, but also anyone who happens to be staying with you on the day that you complete the questionnaire.
Why is the Census so Important?
- Federal Funding. The Census informs the allocation of more than $675 BILLION in Federal Funding to States. This funding impacts almost all areas of daily life: education, transportation, housing, healthcare, emergency aid, and much more. If a state is undercounted, the entitlement to federal aid is lessened which has a decade-long impact (until the next census!).
- Representation in Washington, DC. The census population count determines how many representatives in Congress a state has. In other words, an incomplete count can lessen the impact that a state has on policy at a national-level. The census is also used to draw electoral districts, which are generally updated once the Census data is transmitted to the states about a year after the count is complete.
- Data. Census data is extremely valuable and useful. This data can be used in research and analysis of existing conditions and trends, which is then used to guide decision-making for new schools, roads, housing, and any number of other things. Census data is publicly-accessible at data.census.gov.
Extremely! Census data is completely anonymous and secure. To quote the Census Bureau, "The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data." For more information, please visit the Census Bureau's Data Protection Website.
Commit to Taking the 2020 Census
- 2020 Census Website
- Census 101: What You Need to Know
- Confidentiality Fact sheet
- Security Fact sheet
- Residence Criteria Fact sheet
- Responding to the Census Online