A great place to live, work and play.

    You are here

    Census 2020

    Census 2020 Local Impact
    Census 2020 Importance of Data
    Census 2020 101 What You Need to Know
    Census 2020 Videos
    Census 2020 Jobs
    Census 2020 Local Contacts
    Free Coloring Book
    Census 2020 Timeline Adjustments

    NEW CENSUS DEADLINE

    The 2020 Census is underway and households across America are responding every day. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 Census operations in order to:
    • Protect the health and safety of Census Bureau employees and the American public.
    • Implement guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.
    • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

    The public is strongly encouraged to respond online. (Options for responding by phone or mail are also available.) Extended timeframe to respond to the Census: August 14 

    What is the Census?

    The 2020 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 counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail.

    Why the United States Conducts 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.

    Overall Timeline

    Counting every person living in the United States is a massive undertaking, and efforts begin years in advance. Here's a look at some of the key dates along the way:

    2020

    • January 21: The U.S. Census Bureau started counting the population in remote Alaska. The count officially began in the rural Alaskan village of Toksook Bay.
    • March 12 - 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.
    • March 30 - April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
    • April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home 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.
    • April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers will also begin following up with households that have not yet responded in areas that include off-campus housing, where residents are not counted in groups.
    • May - July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven't responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
    • December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.

    2021

    • March 31: By this date, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.