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. 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.
Responding to the Census
When it’s time to respond, most households will receive an invitation in the mail. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you’ll receive either an invitation encouraging you to respond online or an invitation along with a paper questionnaire.
What the Census Will Send in the Mail
- March 12–20
- An invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census. (Some households will also receive paper questionnaires.)
- March 16–24
If you haven’t responded yet:
- March 26–April 3
- April 8–16
- A reminder letter and paper questionnaire.
- April 20–27
- A final reminder postcard before we follow up in person.