Why We Conduct This Count
The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.
The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.
Key Facts About the Census
- The census counts every person living in the United States, regardless of age or citizenship status, every 10 years in years ending in 0.
- It’s in the Constitution.
- It’s about money, power, and data.
- Every 10 years we help decide how taxpayer dollars come back to our communities. The 2020 Census will help to distribute billions of dollars in federal resources to your community.
- Our community gets resources based on census population counts, that help pay for hospitals, emergency services, schools, roads, and more.
- An accurate and complete census helps businesses, community leaders and elected officials make informed decisions every day.
- For the first time, people can respond online and by phone, in addition to the mail-in option. Your response impacts funding for your community for critical services for the next 10 years.
- The next decennial census happens in 2030.
It’s safe and confidential
- Your data is protected and it’s confidential. Federal law protects your responses, which cannot be shared with law enforcement, immigration agencies, or housing authorities.
COVID-19 & the 2020 Census
- The 2020 Census is underway and the most important and safe thing you can do is respond online, by phone, or by mail. It has never been easier to respond to the 2020 Census.
- Responding now will minimize the need for the Census Bureau to send census takers out into communities to follow up with households.
- Please check this page regularly for updates and adjustments in response to COVID-19. See the latest status of operations and current timeline.
Materials, Factsheets and Other Resources
- Census 101: What you Need to Know
- How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond
- Census at a Glance Factsheet/Timeline
- Who counts on the census?
- Questions asked on the Census
- About Census Takers/Enumerators
- Brand Guidelines, U.S. Census Bureau
- 2020 Census Outreach Materials
- Where you are counted matters - Residence Criteria
- The Census Safety and Security