2020 Census

Get counted today!

All persons living in the United States must fill out the 2020 Census. You can fill out the Census form online or by mail, and it takes just a few minutes to do.

Your response is confidential and your citizenship status will not be asked. And your participation will bring resources and representation to your community.

Get started right now at my2020census.gov.


What is the Decennial Census?

The U.S. Constitution requires an accurate count every ten years of all persons living in the United States, regardless of their citizenship status or national origin. 

Census data determine everything from how much representation our communities have in Congress, to the amount of resources that are provided to the places we live. 

The data allow us to understand how our population is growing and changing, and have a direct impact on the political, economic and social progress of our country.

For these reasons, it is critical to collect accurate Census data from all persons living in the country.

What are Census data used for?

Census data serve many purposes; most importantly, they are used to determine political representation and government spending on key programs that impact the health and well-being of communities such as schools, roads, hospitals, fire departments and senior centers. That is why it is so important to get an accurate Census count. 

Specifically, the Census determines:

  • Apportionment of congressional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • How district lines are drawn at all levels of government

It also determines the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funding to state and local programs, including:

  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • SNAP
  • Title I Grants
  • Head Start
  • Section 8, Special Education Grants (IDEA)
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

As well as:

  • Business decisions, consumer populations and marketing strategies
  • Monitoring discrimination and enforcing civil rights laws
  • Demographic and other research

Important Dates

Between March 12 – 20: Invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census. Some households will receive paper questionnaires in the first mailing.

Between March 16 – 24: Reminder letters sent.

Between March 26 – April 3: Reminder postcards to households that haven't responded.

April 1: It's Census Day! By this date, every home should have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond 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.

Between April 8 – 16: Reminder letter and paper questionnaire sent to households that haven't responded.

Between April 20 – 27: If no response, final reminder postcard sent before an enumerator visits home.

May–July: Non-response follow-up (NRFU) by enumerators.

FAQs

How will I be able to respond to the Census?

Every household in the U.S. will receive an invitation to answer the Census, and will have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. Households that do not respond will receive a visit from a Census enumerator.

We strongly encourage people to respond to the Census as soon as possible, and online. This is the easiest way to answer the questionnaire and will prevent the need for an enumerator visit. If you do not have a computer, we strongly encourage you to look for Census outreach events sponsored by churches, libraries, health clinics, and other community-based organizations across the country, which will facilitate Census intake.

Who are Census enumerators?

Enumerators are census takers who are hired temporarily for the United States population census. They interview the residents of every household that has not responded via the online or paper forms to collect Census information. In 2020, the Census Bureau projects that Census takers may be responsible for recording up to 40 percent of the count.

We strongly encourage Latino and bi-lingual community members to consider these jobs. It is important to have trusted messengers from the community to gather Census data in our communities. Enumerator jobs are part-time, flexible and well-paid; there typically are no education requirements for this job.

To view Census jobs in your area and apply directly, visit here.

Do I have to fill out the Census questionnaire or is it optional?

It is not optional. By law, individuals are required to fill out the census form, as the Constitution requires that every person in the country be counted.  If you do not fill out the form online, by phone or by mail, or if you do not answer all the questions on the form, a Census taker will come to your home to finalize the questionnaire. If you are over 18 years old and refuse to answer all or part of the Census, or provide false information, you can be fined up to $1,000.

Will the citizenship question be on the Census form?

No. In June 2019, the Supreme Court decided not to allow the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, following the recommendation of every secretary of commerce and statisticians since 1950.

Are the Census data confidential and is it safe for everyone to respond?

The Census Bureau states:

“The Census Bureau is required by law to protect any personal information we collect and keep it strictly confidential. The Census Bureau can only use your answers to produce statistics. In fact, every Census Bureau employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life. Your answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine your personal eligibility for government benefits.

By law, your census responses cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way—not by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), not by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), not by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and not by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The law requires the Census Bureau to keep your information confidential and use your responses only to produce statistics.”

What is UnidosUS doing to ensure a full and accurate count of the Latino population?

At UnidosUS, our main goal is to help maximize the Latino Census 2020 count, particularly among hard-to-count (HTC) populations, by meaningfully engaging our Affiliates and partners in strategic locations and leveraging Unidos’ assets and visibility toward that end.

Our activities include:

  • Implementing the informative webinar series “Let’s Get Counted!” through which national partners and Affiliates can share important outreach information and resources with each other;
  • Providing small subgrants to Affiliates conducting outreach and education activities with particularly Hard to Count populations in targeted states;
  • Working with all of our programs, including Education and Health programs as well as UnidosUS GOTV canvassers, to disseminate messages and information;
  • Encouraging Hispanic/bi-lingual community members to work as enumerators (NRFU);
  • Sharing vital information, resources, important dates and messaging with Affiliates, the media and the public in order to empower our communities to get counted.

The partners of UnidosUS and our network of Affiliates include: NALEO, Hágase Contar, LCCHR, Census Bureau, Census Open Innovation Labs, Culture One World, and WKKF.

Hard to Count populations are those identified by the Census Bureau as having historically low response rates to the Census. They include:

  • Latinos, African-Americans and American Indians
  • Households with low incomes
  • Immigrants and individuals with low English-language proficiency
  • Renters
  • Residents who live in non-traditional housing
  • Rural residents
  • Highly mobile residents, such as farmworkers 
  • Very young children aged 0-4  

Additional Resources