What is the census?
The U.S. Census is a count of every person living in the United States and its territories to determine how much funding each area needs for resources like schools, emergency services, healthcare programs, roads and more.
When is the census?
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the decennial census every ten years. The next census will be in 2020 and the Bureau will start mailing invitations on how to respond to every household in March 2020.
Do I have to take the census?
Yes. By law, every person who lives in the U.S. and its territories is required to respond to the census.
Does everyone in my household have to fill out the census survey?
Only one person per household needs to fill out the census. One person completes the questionnaire for everyone living in the home.
How do I take the census?
There are three ways to respond to the census: online, phone or mail. Households received an invitation in the mail with instructions for completing the questionnaire in March 2020.
What questions are on the census?
The census asks basic demographic questions such as: how many people are living in the home; is the home owned or rented, and what is the age, sex, race, and relationships of people in the household.
When do I have to respond by?
You are encouraged to self-respond to the 2020 Census by July 31, 2020. Starting in August, the Census Bureau will begin follow-up in-person to households who haven’t responded. All census responses need to be received online, by phone or by mail no later than October 31, 2020.
What happens if I don’t respond?
Census workers will follow up with a home visit to households that do not respond.
What is Neighborhood Address Canvassing?
The Neighborhood Address Canvassing serves two purposes:
What happens if I don’t answer one of the questions on the survey?
The U.S. Census Bureau encourages each household to complete their questionnaire in its entirety. To ensure your questionnaire counts toward the population of your community, the response to the question regarding the number of people in the home, must be completed.
Why do you need to know all of my information?
Your answers are only used for statistical purposes. This information helps the government make informed housing and planning decisions, and fund important programs in areas of education, transportation, healthcare and so much more.
Is the census available in languages besides English?
Yes, the census offers the online and paper questionnaire in 12 non-English languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.
Additional materials and assistance are available in 59 languages. Visit 2020census.gov for more information.
What if more than one family lives in my household?
If multiple families live under one roof, please select one person to fill out the census and make sure everyone in the house is included, regardless of the family relationship to each other.
My child/children split their time between two households. How do I count them?
Your children should be counted in the household where they live and sleep most of the time. If they split their time equally between homes, count them where they are staying on April 1, 2020. Be sure to communicate this information with their other parent or caretaker so they aren’t counted twice or not counted at all.
My grandchildren live with me. Do I count them on my census?
Yes, if your grandchildren live with you most of the time.
My child is a newborn. Do I still count them?
Yes. Infants and babies should be counted as well.
I’m pregnant on Census Day, April 1, 2020. Do I count myself as one or two people?
Only count yourself as one person.
I am taking care of an elderly relative. Do I count them?
Yes, if your relative lives in your household most of the time.
I’m in the military or a citizen deployed overseas. How should I list my address?
Temporarily deployed military and citizen employees should count their usual home address in the United States. Stationed or assigned employees, and all dependents living with them, should list their home state of record.
I’m a college student living away from home. Do I count myself, or do my parents?
If you live and sleep in a dorm or apartment during most of the year, then count yourself as living there. Your parents should not count you as living in their household.
My living situation is not listed here.
For more information on unique circumstances and/or how to complete the questionnaire, visit 2020census.gov.
Are my answers safe online?
Yes. The U.S. Census online survey site is safe and secure.
Does the census require or include a citizenship question?
No, the 2020 Census does not include any questions about citizenship.
Are my answers private?
Yes, responses to the census questionnaire are completely confidential and anonymous. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot share census data with any other person, organization, court, business or government agency, i.e. law enforcement.
How does the U.S. Census protect my identity?
The U.S. Census never asks for social security numbers, bank account numbers, money, donations or anything on behalf of a political party. If anyone asks you for this information claiming it is for the U.S. Census, do not answer their questions and contact the U.S. Census Bureau.
I’m still not convinced.
You can learn more about privacy protections at 2020census.gov.
What is iCount 2020?
iCount 2020 is a regional census outreach campaign developed by the Maricopa Association of Governments, the regional planning agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.
The goal of iCount2020: to demonstrate how every woman, child and man has an impact on the Maricopa region by participating in the 2020 Census, and lead to a complete and accurate count of all people living in the region.
The iCount 2020 campaign includes: an interactive and social media-friendly website, icount2020.info; targeted advertising across all media platforms to reach diverse audiences, and a public relations campaign to promote awareness, educate and motivate people to participate in the 2020 Census by completing and submitting their census forms.
Is it important to count people experiencing homelessness on the census?
Yes, everyone living in our communities counts. Even though the system the census uses is based on households, this doesn’t mean that people without a household don’t get counted.
Census data helps inform decisions about billions of dollars in federal funding for services such as shelters or soup kitchens, as well as for programs assisting with housing, nutrition, and transitioning from homelessness. Knowing who can benefit from these services is important information for allocating resources fairly and responsibly.
How do people experiencing homelessness get counted?
The Census Bureau will devote three days to counting people who are experiencing homelessness across the country, with checks in place to ensure people aren’t counted more than once. These dates are confidential and follow months of outreach and coordination with local census offices, partners, shelter directors and service providers.
- Day 1: Counting people who are in shelters.
- Day 2: Counting people at soup kitchens and mobile food vans.
- Day 3: Counting people in non-sheltered, outdoor locations, such as tent encampments or on the streets.
I work with a government or non-profit agency that serves the homeless population. What is my role in helping the homeless community get counted on the 2020 Census?
U.S. Census Bureau workers will visit shelters, soup kitchens, mobile food vans, as well as non-sheltered outdoor locations where people experiencing homelessness stay. These visits will be scheduled in advance and will be an opportunity for census workers to have clients participate in the census.
You can help by educating your clients in advance so they know what to expect. You should explain the importance of the 2020 Census for members of your facility and the funding that census participation can secure. You should also assure your clients, residents, and staff that all information collected will remain confidential.
You can learn more about this process, which is known as service-based enumeration here.
I am experiencing homelessness and would like to complete the census. How do I do so?
If you utilize social services such as a soup kitchen, stay in a shelter, or receive meals from a regularly scheduled mobile food van, tell the staff of these services that you would like to participate in the 2020 census. They will be able to give you information about when U.S. Census workers are scheduled to do census counts at the location you receive services.