2020 Census Toolkit

What is the Census?

The Census is a count of every person living in America (including all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories).

 

Why is the Census Important?

  • Representation: The decennial (happens every 10 years) count of all U.S. residents is required by the U.S. Constitution to determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College. This data is also the basis for drawing districts for federal, state and local offices (known as redistricting).
  • Funding: The Census is important to the allocation of federal funding to states (such as grants to states under the Library Services and Technology Act).
  • Information: Data resulting from the Census is widely used by researchers, governments, businesses and other organizations.

How to Participate

By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:

  • Online
  • By phone
  • By mail

The 2020 Census marks the first time you’ll have the option to respond online. You can even respond on your mobile device.

What are the Questions?

To learn about all the questions that the Census can and cannot ask please visit the United States 2020 Census website.

What about Privacy?

Learn all about how the United States Census Bureau works to keep your information confidential here.

Further Reading

“The 2020 Census May be Wildly Inaccurate—And it Matters More Than You Think” by Robert Shapiro, Brookings Institution