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.
Stay up to date with a map of self-response rates from across the United States.
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:
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Whether of Hispanic origin
- If you rent or own
The US Census does not ask about citizenship or immigration status.
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.
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.
- Key Census dates: https://2020census.gov/en/important-dates.html
- Read this editorial in the Palm Beach Post about why the US Census is critical for Florida
- Impacts of Census Accuracy on Federal Funds Distribution to States and Local Areas from the GW Institute of Public Policy