Census 2020 has started! Find out everything you need to know about this important event and how you can get involved!

Be informed.
Be counted.
Be represented.

Census 2020 has started!

What is the US Census?

The US Census counts everyone living in the country to determine America’s population and how it’s distributed. The US Constitution mandates this count be taken once every 10 years.

When it was first taken in 1790, the census tallied about 4 million people. At last count in 2010, there were nearly 309 million people. The total is projected to be around 330 million in 2020, with 21.5 million Florida residents to be counted.

The Palm Beach Post Article: Census 2020 – How high will Floridas population go

Stay up to date with a map of self-response rates from across the United States.

Why is the US Census important?

The Federal government uses census data to determine how many seats each state has in the US House of Representatives and in drawing Congressional districts. State governments use it to make determinations about State Senate and State House of Representative seats and districts. The data also impacts County Commissioners and School Board members on the local level.

Over $1.5 trillion in annual Federal funding is divvied up to states and individuals based on the census. This includes money for schools, infrastructure, hospitals, emergency services, job training programs, child care and senior centers, various assistance programs, and more. Florida should receive about $3,000 annually in Federal funding for every person counted.

Businesses also use census data to identify the need for housing, supermarkets, and other necessities in local communities.

What is the timeline for the US Census?

April 1, 2020 is National Census Day.

The census officially begins on March 12, 2020. Starting then, almost every household in America will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census. From mid-March through late April 2020, a series of four reminders will be mailed to households that haven’t yet responded. In May 2020, census takers will visit up to two times all households that haven’t responded to get a count in person.

How do you respond to the US Census?

Every household will have the option of responding online, by phone, by U.S. mail, or in person when a census taker comes to their home. Responses can begin on March 12 to show who will be living at an address on April 1.

The invitations sent out will include instructions and a unique Census 2020 ID code. Most recipients will be encouraged to take advantage of the new option to respond online using any computer, laptop, or mobile device.

Some invitations will also include a printed questionnaire that may be mailed in, but anyone may request a paper form, even if they don’t receive one initially.

A small number of households—primarily those that don’t receive mail at their address—will have invitations dropped off in person by a census taker. Less than 1% of households—mainly those in very remote regions—will not receive an invitation, but will have their count taken in person by a census taker.

Who should be counted in the US Census?

Absolutely everyone who lives in the US!

Every household should respond to Census 2020. Account for everyone who lives in your household for most of the year as of April 1, 2020, regardless of age, citizenship status, or any other consideration.

What information does the US Census form ask for?

The form should take about 10 minutes to complete. It asks how many people reside in your home and collects only the following data about each person:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Race
  • Phone number
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Whether of Hispanic origin
  • If you rent or own

    The US Census does not ask about citizenship or immigration status.

How are different residence situations handled?

Generally, people are considered to live in the household where they live and sleep for most of the year as of April 1, 2020. “Snowbirds” who live in Florida part-time are counted at the residence where they live and sleep most of the year, regardless where they are on National Census Day. If they cannot determine a place where they live most of the time, they are counted where they are staying on Census Day.

Children who split their time evenly between two homes are counted where they live on April 1, 2020. Newborns should be counted too, even if they haven’t come home from the hospital yet.

People undergoing short-term inpatient care at a healthcare facility are counted at their home; those in long-term inpatient care for the majority of the year are counted at the facility.

US Military personnel living abroad are counted by military staff.

Boarding school students are counted at the home of their parents or legal guardians. College students and foreign college students are counted at their on- or off-campus residence. US college students attending school abroad are not counted in the US Census.

People living in emergency or transitional shelters are counted at the shelter. Those displaced from their home due to a natural disaster are counted where they live and sleep most of the time. People in prison on April 1, 2020 are counted at the facility.

How is privacy and confidentiality protected by the US Census Bureau?

The personal information of all respondents is protected by Federal law. Beyond anonymous data, the information gathered by the US Census Bureau cannot be shared with any government agency. It cannot be used against you or anyone in your household in any way.

There are no questions about citizenship or immigration status. You will not be asked for a complete Social Security Number, money or a donation, or to create a password or PIN number. There is never any request on behalf of any political party.

To find out more about the Census, visit 2020Census.gov.

Get involved and help your community be counted and represented!

How can you help?

The best way to get involved in making sure we have an accurate and complete census is to join a Complete Count Committee (CCC) in your area.

A CCC is comprised of a broad spectrum of government and community leaders from education, business, healthcare, and other community organizations. These trusted voices develop and implement a 2020 Census awareness campaign based on their knowledge of the local community to encourage a response.

Find a CCC in your community.

Also, encourage others to get involved, and your community organizations to assist local CCCs. Share accurate information, such as this page, on social media. Help inform people and dispel myths.

Additional information

Watch this LWV Palm Beach County Census presentation:


Take the CountMeIn pledge to complete the Census and educate your community:


LWVFL Census 2020 handouts:

Please refer back to THIS FOLDER to receive the most up-to-date informational handouts for the Census.

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