What is the Census?
The US 2020 Census is a count of all people living in the United States as of April 1, 2020. The census is done every 10 years. The information helps the local, state and federal governments make decisions about where services like emergency services, hospitals & health care centers, schools and transportation services are needed. The census helps decide how many representatives communities have in local, state & federal government.
Complete the Census online at 2020census.gov, or by phone or mail. Check out the resources below to learn more! CAU is a 2020 Census partner.
2020 Census PSA: Census Made Simple (2:20)
What Is the Census?
Why is the Census Important?
The census is important because if not everyone in a community is counted, that community may not get enough money for the services people need in order to be safe and secure. Everyone in a community needs to be counted so the community can have as loud a voice as possible.
The Census is about Power and Money
Our Voices: Why the Census is Important to Me
Why Being Counted is as Important as your Vote | Mara Abrams | TEDxCrossroadsSchool
Safety & Confidentiality Concerns
Completing the census is safe – your information is kept confidential and is not shared with law enforcement or immigration officials.
2020 Census PSA: Is My 2020 Census Data Safe? (:30)
How to Complete the Census
For the first time in 2020, the census can be completed:
- Paper Form
Most households will receive an official invitation in the U.S. mail that includes a unique Census ID with instructions on how to respond.
2020 Census PSA: How Do I Take The 2020 Census? (:20)
On the census form, you will be asked to enter the address and phone number of your residence, whether the residence is owned or rented, and how many people are living in the household as of April 1, 2020. For each person living at that residence, you need to enter the following information:
- Date of birth
- Hispanic origin
For each person listed, their relationship to the person completing the census needs to be selected.
The following videos explain how to complete the census online:
English: Video Guide to Completing the 2020 Census Online
American Sign Language (ASL): Video Guide to Completing the 2020 Census Online
Español/Spanish: Guía en Video para Completar el Censo del 2020 por Internet
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Important Dates – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau has moved some dates. The following dates show the most current important dates (as of 3/21/2020):
- Self-Response Phase (online, phone, mail) March 12–August 14
- Group Quarters Enumeration April 16–June 19
- Paper Response by Mail: If you prefer to respond by mail but do not receive a questionnaire in your first mailing from the U.S. Census Bureau, you can wait for the fourth mailing, in mid-April 2020, which will include a questionnaire.
- Census Takers Going Door to Door: From May – July 2020, census takers will visit households that have not yet responded. A census taker can assist if you need help completing your form.
Information for People Living in Group Residences
Some group residences complete the Census by getting invitations in the mail like most U.S. households. However, some group residences submit their information on a special form that is sent to a group home administrator. The U.S. Census Bureau determines which process is used.
Everyone who lives in a home should have the opportunity to make sure that they are counted, that they give input and that the information is accurate.
What are Some Barriers to Completing the Census?
- Some people may not have internet access. They can complete the census on the phone, or wait until a paper questionnaire is mailed to them.
- Other people may not have received an invitation in the mail. People can go to the U.S. 2020 Census website (https://my2020census.gov/) and complete the census.
- People may think that their personal information is not safe or secure. Your personal information is protected by Title 13 of the U.S. Code (see below)
Answers to Other Questions/FAQ's
- Do I need to answer all the questions?
- When you complete the census online, you cannot move to the next screen if you leave an answer blank.
- Can I start completing the census online and then finish it another time?
- No, the online census must be completed in one session. If you don’t finish it in one online session, you will need to start from the beginning.