2020 Census Q & A


What is the Census?

The United States Census is a national survey conducted every ten years by the U.S. Census Bureau to count the population and is required by law.

Why is the census important? How can the results affect me?

Census data is used to

  • Determine representation in Congress.
  • Determine the amount of financial support for Medical Assistance Program and Medicare Part B.
  • Determine support for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and School lunch programs.
  • Support Special education grants and determine funding for highway planning and construction.
  • Determine financial support for Section 8 housing.

The data is also used for research and to analyze and predict trends. This has a direct influence on where businesses decide to open, impacting the local economy and job creation.

Census data is used to distribute more than $900 billion of federal funding to fund Public Services.


When does the 2020 Census officially start?

The U.S. Census Bureau began their outreach on March 12 and will finish August 2020. Census Day is April 1. This is the reference date for responses to the 2020 Census.


How can I respond to the Census?

By April 1, 2020, households received an invitation via U.S. Mail to participate in the census. This year, for the first time in history, people can respond to the census online. You can also respond using a phone, a paper form (via mail) or in-person (with an enumerator.) It is important to remember that Census Takers (or enumerators) will visit households ONLY if they have not completed the census online, by mail, or by phone.

Enumerators will come to your home only to help you complete the census.


How can I respond to the Census?

The 2020 Census questionnaire has nine questions and answering all the questions should take about 10 minutes depending on the number of people in the household. The questions are simple. For example:

  • How many people were living in your house on April 1, 2020?
  • Do you rent or own your home?
  • Gender, race, age, ethnic group, and relationship?

The census questionnaire asks for people’s names to ensure that each household member is counted only once.