What Is the 2020 Census?The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.As required by the Census Act, the U.S. Census Bureau submitted a list of questions to Congress on March 29, 2018.
What is the census?
The census is a count of every person who lives in the United States and its territories. It happens every 10 years. In early 2020, you will be asked to count everyone who lives in your home as of April 1, 2020. Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape your future.
What’s in it for me?
- Your responses inform where over $675 billion is distributed each year to communities nationwide for clinics, schools, roads, and more.
- Census data gives community leaders vital information to make decisions about building community centers, opening businesses, and planning for the future.
- Responding also fulfills your civic duty because it’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.
- Your responses are used to redraw legislative districts and determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Is my information safe?
Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. They cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way—not by the FBI, not by the CIA, not by the DHS, and not by ICE.
What will I be asked?
You will be asked a few simple questions, like age, sex, and the number of people who live in your home, including children.
What won’t be asked?
The census will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything related to political parties.
Based on those questions, the 2020 Census will ask:
- How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020. This will help us count the entire U.S. population and ensure that we count people according to where they live on Census Day.
- Whether the home is owned or rented. This will help us produce statistics about homeownership and renting. The rates of homeownership serve as one indicator of the nation's economy. They also help in administering housing programs and informing planning decisions.
- About the sex of each person in your home. This allows us to create statistics about males and females, which can be used in planning and funding government programs. This data can also be used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination.
- About the age of each person in your home. The U.S. Census Bureau creates statistics to better understand the size and characteristics of different age groups. Agencies use this data to plan and fund government programs that support specific age groups, including children and older adults.
- About the race of each person in your home. This allows us to create statistics about race and to provide other statistics by racial groups. This data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
- About whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. These responses help create statistics about this ethnic group. This is needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
- About the relationship of each person in your home. This allows the Census Bureau to create estimates about families, households, and other groups. Relationship data is used in planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone.
Governments, businesses, communities, and nonprofits all rely on the data that these questions produce to make critical decisions.
The Census Will Never Ask Certain Questions
During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:
- Your Social Security number.
- Money or donations.
- Anything on behalf of a political party.
- Your bank or credit card account numbers.
If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it's a scam, and you should not cooperate. For more information, visit Avoiding Fraud and Scams.
What Happens to Your Answers?
Your personal information is kept confidential. The Census Bureau is bound by federal law to protect your information, and your data is used only for statistical purposes.
Your responses are compiled with information from other homes to produce statistics, which never identify your home or any person in your home. Learn more about how we protect your information.
For more information on the Census 2020 visit https://2020census.gov/en.html