2020 Census

What is the 2020 Census?

The census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories every ten years. The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. 

Why is the Census important?

It’s about representation

Political district boundaries are based on the census. Everyone living in the US (not just citizens) must be counted to ensure equal representation at all levels of government. Boundaries are drawn for aldermanic districts, county board districts, state assembly and state senate districts, and U.S. House of Representative districts based on the census population count, not the number of people who are eligible to vote.  Any areas with an undercount will be under-represented for the next 10 years.  

It’s about funding
The census count affects state and federal funding for our community over the next decade. $675 billion in annual federal funding is tied to the census and is responsible for supporting state, county and community programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy. Every person who is not counted may result in a loss of over $2,000 in funding per year.

It’s about your community
The City and many other governmental entities, businesses, and nonprofits use census data for planning, decision-making and investment.  Data that accurately represents the community can lead to better outcomes for neighborhoods and communities within the city.  

How will the Census be conducted?

By April 1, 2020 every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020. 

The 2020 Census marks the first time you’ll have the option to respond online. You can still also respond by phone or by mail. 

Will a Census Bureau employee come to my house?

May 2020 through July 2020, census takers begin visiting households that haven’t responded to the Census to help ensure everyone is counted.

Census employees will wear proof that they are official government personnel.

Who is required to respond?

Everyone living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.

2020 Census Bureau Resources