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What you need to know | US Census

It's closer than you think!

Here's a quick refresher of what it is and why it's essential that everyone is counted.

Everyone Counts.

The census counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place.

It’s about fair representation.

Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.

It’s in the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution requires a census every 10 years. The census covers the entire country and everyone living here. The first census was in 1790.

It means $675 billion.

Census data determines how more than $675 billion is spent, supporting state, city and county programs. When people don’t respond, communities lose up to $2,000 per person each year.

Your data is confidential.

Federal law protects your census responses. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. By law, your information cannot be shared with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies. It also cannot be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits.

It’s about redistricting.

After each census, state officials use the results to redraw the boundaries of their congressional and state legislative districts, adapting to population shifts.

Census data is being used all around you.

The census supports community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.

  • Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, which create jobs.
  • Real estate developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.
  • Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness.

2020 will be easier than ever.

In 2020, you will be able to respond to the census online, by phone or by mail.

Census timeline.

On or between You'll receive
March 12-20 An invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census.
Some households will also receive paper questionnaires.
March 16-24 A reminder letter.
  If you haven't responded yet:
March 26 - April 3 A reminder postcard.
April 8-16 A reminder letter and paper questionnaire.
April 20-27 A final reminder postcard before the Census follows up in person.
Census Day: April 1, 2020