The 2020 Census is underway! As of April 8, 46.2% of households have responded to the Census. It can be completed online, by phone, or by mail. Households typically receive a letter by mail in mid-March. Given the unpredictability of the ongoing and evolving crisis, complete the Census as soon as possible in order to ensure you and your household are counted. If you have not received your Census form by mail, or you've misplaced it, you can still complete it online or by phone.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Who should complete the census?
- Everyone who lives in the US and its five territories. Citizenship is not and has never been required. One person should complete the form for each household.
- Where should you be counted?
- You should be counted where you are living and sleeping most of the time as of April 1, 2020. If you have been temporarily displaced as a result of COVID, you should be counted where you would have lived but for COVID on April 1. For typical college and university students, this will be where they are enrolled and attend classes even if they had to return to move off campus prematurely due to COVID.
- Why does it matter?
- The Census takes place every 10 years in an attempt to capture a snapshot of communities by number. Based on this snapshot, the federal government allocates both funding as well as congressional representation in the U.S House of Representatives and the Electoral College. Over $1 trillion in federal funding is distributed based on the census count. Put another way, federal funds are not distributed by need; they are distributed based on the census count, which is used as a proxy for need. Communities of color are historically undercounted. There is power in numbers! "Make Black Count" is working hard to combat undercounting. Selected programs are included below that rely on federal funding:
- school lunches
- highway repair and maintenance
- support for families in need
- Pell grants
- wildlife restoration
- wildfire protection
- dislocated worker employment and training
- The U.S. Census Bureau's COVID-19 Site provides access to demographic and economic data at a glance, as well as reports and tools for analysis.
- 2020 Census: What You Need To Know (PennState Law, Center for Immigrants' Rights, March 30, 2020)
- For the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will provide video language guides, print language guides and language glossaries in 59 non-English languages, available here.
- 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study Survey Report (U.S. Census Bureau, January 24, 2019)