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Census 2020

About

About the 2020 Census

How to Respond

Complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

About

The United States Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

The Census is important for 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.

The Census is important for 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. Every person who is not counted may result in a loss of over $2,000 in funding per year.

It's easy
The census form includes nine questions about each person's age, gender, race, and relationship to householder. It should take less than 10 minutes to fill out for most households.  You will be able to fill out the census form online, over the phone, by paper, or in person.

It's safe
All data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau is confidential and may only be used for statistical purposes.  It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies any individual or business to any government agency or person outside the Census Bureau.  This means any personally identifiable census information is prohibited from being shared with law enforcement, courts, landlords, credit agencies, or anyone else outside the Census Bureau.

 

 

How to Respond

By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:

  • Online (see video below)
  • By phone: From March 9-July 31, 2020, you may respond by calling the following numbers:
    • English: 844-330-2020
    • Spanish: 844-468-2020
    • Telephone Display Device (TDD): 844-467-2020
    • Other languages
  • By mail

In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census. For more information, visit the U.S. Census Bureau's website.

Video Guide to Completing the 2020 Census Online

Resources

The U.S. Census Bureau is committed to making the 2020 Census quick, easy, and safe for all participants. Here are some tips to help you stay safe. | more info »
Census 2020 City of Madison
The City of Madison, like many units of government and organizations across the country, is undertaking a community outreach effort to explain why this national effort for a complete and accurate count of residents is important locally. | more info »
Census 2020 City of Madison
La Ciudad de Madison, como muchas unidades de gobierno y organizaciones en todo el país, está llevando a cabo una iniciativa de alcance comunitario para explicar porqué este esfuerzo nacional para un conteo completo y preciso de residentes es importante a nivel local. | more info »
There are many ways the 2020 Census can shape your community. The results, collected once a decade, help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. | more info »
Official information on what will and will not be asked on the 2020 Census form. | more info »
Who to count as members of your household on the 2020 Census form, including information about newborn babies, military personnel, people in shelters, and other special circumstances | more info »

FAQ

  1. What questions will be on the 2020 Census form?
  2. Is my information safe and confidential?
  3. How long does it take to fill out the form?
  4. In what languages will the online form be available?
  5. Can people respond on a smartphone or tablet?
  6. What should people do if they have a question or problem?

1. What questions will be on the 2020 Census form?

As required by the Census Act, the U.S. Census Bureau submitted a list of questions to Congress on March 29, 2018. Based on those questions, the 2020 Census will ask:

  • How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020.
  • Whether the home is owned or rented.
  • About the sex of each person in your home.
  • About the age of each person in your home.
  • About the race of each person in your home.
  • About whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.
  • About the relationship of each person in your home.

During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers.

The Supreme Court has ruled that there will not be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

For more information, visit the U.S. Census Bureau's "Questions Asked" page.

2. Is my information safe and confidential?

Yes. Every Census employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life. When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics.

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. That's protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code.

For more information, see How the Census Bureau Protects Your Data.

3. How long does it take to fill out the form?

The Census Bureau estimates that it will take about 10 minutes to complete the census questionnaire, depending on the number of people in the household.

4. In what languages will the Census form be available?

The online form will be available in English and 12 non-English languages: Arabic, Chinese [Simplified], French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. These are the top 12 languages spoken by limited-English-speaking households.

The paper form will be available in English and bilingual English-Spanish.

Census Questionnaire Telephone Assistance will be available in English and the same 12 non-English languages referenced above, with Mandarin and Cantonese. People will also be able to use their Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) when calling.

Additionally, language glossaries and guides for the census will be available in a total of 59 non-English languages, including Hmong, American Sign Language, Braille, and large print. The language guides cannot be used to respond to the census, but can help respondents fill out the actual form in English. Please see this Census Bureau memorandum for more information on non-English language support.

5. Can people respond on a smartphone or tablet?

Yes, the online form will be optimized to allow people to respond on a smartphone or tablet.

6. What should people do if they have a question or problem?

People can call Census Questionnaire Assistance toll-free for answers to questions or to provide their household responses by phone.

  • English: 844-330-2020
  • Spanish: 844-468-2020
  • Other languages available starting March 9