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The 2020 Census Is Here

Right now, our nation is conducting the once-a-decade census with the goal to count every person living in the United States once, only once, and in the right place. The U.S. Constitution requires a census every 10 years to count the entire country. Everyone is required to respond to the 2020 Census and count everyone living in their household.

No matter where you live, it is important that you are counted in the 2020 Census. Each response matters and answering the census helps guide how billions of dollars in federal funding gets distributed to states and communities each year. This funding helps communities create jobs, provide housing, prepare for emergencies, and build schools, roads and hospitals. Census data also helps determine how many seats a state receives in Congress, and state and local governments use the information to redraw boundaries for congressional districts, state legislative districts and school districts, adapting to population shifts.

Individuals should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. If they live in a group facility, like a dorm, military barracks, or shelter, U.S. Census Bureau employees will work with a representative from your building to make sure you are counted. You may be asked to complete an individual census form.


Your Building May Include You In Its Count

Those living in most group facilities, including college dorms, nursing homes, psychiatric and other medical facilities, correctional facilities, group homes, and some shelters, will be counted in one of the following ways:

  • A representative from your building will electronically submit your information to the Census Bureau. It will be encrypted to make sure it remains confidential.
  • A Census Bureau employee will interview a representative from your building in person.
  • A Census Bureau employee will drop off paper census forms for residents to complete and pick them up later.
  • At some medical and correctional facilities, a representative from your building will work as a census take to collect information from the facility’s residents.


A Place Where You Received Services May Include You In Its Count

Census Bureau employees will work with transitional shelters, meal centers, and other places where people receive services to make sure everyone is counted. If individuals are staying in one of these places, or are experiencing homelessness and receive services there, they may be counted through an in-person interview with a census taker. A representative from the service’s facility may submit a roster to the Census Bureau to make sure nobody is missed.


Your 2020 Census Responses Are Safe and Secure.

The 2020 Census is easy, safe and important. Responses to the 2020 Census are protected by law under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. The U.S. Census Bureau cannot release any information that identifies you individually. Every Census employee and contractor is sworn for life to always protect your information. The Census Bureau uses your information for statistical purposes only.

The Census Bureau has a team of cybersecurity experts who monitor and protect all agency technology around the clock. Their cybersecurity meets the highest standards for protecting your information. From the moment they collect your responses, their goal and legal obligation is to keep them safe. No matter how you respond, your information remains protected. The Census designed the collection process with layers of security to keep your information safe and secure. Whether you respond online, by phone, by mail, or if a census employee comes to your door, your information is collected, transmitted and kept secure throughout the process. When you are on their secure website, you can verify it’s safe by making sure the address begins with ‘https’ and includes a lock symbol. If you’re visited by a census employee, know that the technology they use has the same strong security controls and is fully compliant with the standards mandated for Federal systems.

The Census Bureau works with the federal intelligence cyber community and security experts to stay abreast of emerging cyber threats to continuously update protections and safeguards for your information.

Respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail today. Regardless of how you choose to respond, your information will be kept confidential and can only be used to produce statistics. To confirm how your building will be counted, check with your building supervisor or manager. Learn more at: 2020CENSUS.GOV.