About the Census

Spend some time here to learn the who, what, where, when and why about the 2020 Census.

The importance of the census

Data collected in the U.S. Census brings the right amount of federal money to your local community for local programs that help you and your neighbors, such as taking care of your roads or funding Medicare.

Approximately $800 billion in federal funding is distributed to communities each year based on the population totals collected by the census. For every household that doesn’t get counted, we lose $39,000 over a 10-year period.

The census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, ensuring that states have fair representation in federal lawmaking. States use census data to redraw or confirm legislative and school districts.

How to participate

For the first time, the census will be available to take completely online. This will help reduce in-person follow up visits to non-responding households.

Individuals can also respond by phone, mail or in-person.

The U.S. Census Bureau will hire temporary part-time field representatives to perform in-person census taking from May to August/September 2020.

Confidentiality of the census

The census is strictly confidential.

  • Individual information collected from the census, by law, cannot be released for 72 years.
  • The Census Bureau will not share a respondent’s personal information with immigration or law enforcement agencies, or allow it to be used to determine someone’s eligibility for government benefits.