It’s time for the 2020 Census, which helps to determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. Beginning in mid-March, every household across the country will receive an invitation to participate by phone, mail or online. By April 1, which is Census Day, every household should have received the census mailer. Census takers will begin to visit the households that haven’t responded between May and July.
Why should you participate? The information collected by the Census Bureau helps determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds gets distributed in our communities – including for new schools, hospitals, emergency services, fire stations and clinics, in the planning and construction of roads, and other community needs. The census also impacts our system of government, and determines how many seats in Congress each state gets.
Who gets counted? Everyone living in your household as of April 1 gets counted regardless of age, relationship or citizenship status. This means infants, friends, family members and roommates living in your household must be counted. The Census Bureau ensures your personal information is kept private and confidential and it is never shared with other government agencies.
Below is a timeline of Census Bureau mailings inviting households to respond by phone, mail or online.
• March 12-20: The U.S. Postal Service will deliver initial invitations to respond online and by phone. Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with the invitation to respond online or over the phone.
• March 16-24: Reminder letters will be delivered.
• March 26-April 3: Reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not responded.
• April 8-16: Reminder letters and paper questionnaires will be delivered to remaining households that have not responded.
• April 20-27: Final reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not yet responded.
The 2020 Census is available online here.