Why the Census Matters
Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution requires a count of the nation’s population to determine the number of congressional representatives for each state. In addition to determining federal representation, the government also uses census data to distribute more than $675 billion dollars in federal funding annually to states and local governments. In California, more than 70 federal programs that benefit our residents use the Census data and population counts as part of their funding formulas, including programs for housing, roads and transportation, schools and education, healthcare, emergency services, child care, and other vital needs. The next federal census is this spring 2020.
A complete and accurate census count will help ensure our community gets its share of federal funding and political representation!
- Census 101: What you need to know - English | Spanish
- 2020 Census at a Glance: census.gov/library/fact-sheets/2019/dec/2020-at-a-glance.html
What to Expect / How to Take the 2020 Census
When is the Census 2020?
The official Census Day is April 1, 2020. In March 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin to mail letters to every household with information on how to complete the census. In May 2020, U.S. Census field staff (called enumerators) will visit households who have not yet completed the census.
Detailed Census Timeline:
- March 12 to March 20, 2020: Most households will receive an invitation to complete the census in the mail. Every household will have the option of responding to the census online, by mail, or by phone
- March 16 to March 24, 2020: A reminder letter mailed
- March 23, 2020: Online Census form opens
- March 26 to April 3, 2020: A reminder postcard mailed
- April 1: Official Census Day
- April 8 to April 30, 2020: A reminder letter and hard-copy Census form mailed
- April 27 to May 9, 2020: A reminder postcard mailed
- July 22 to July 28, 2020: A reminder letter mailed (no hard-copy Census form mailed)
- July 16 to September 30, 2020: Non-Response Follow-Up
- September 30, 2020: Last day for households to self-respond online, by phone or by mail
Census 2020 – Confidentiality
Responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure and protected by federal law. Answers provided in the Census can only be used to produce statistics. Census responses cannot be used against a respondent 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 census information confidential.
Census 2020 – Jobs
Earn extra income while helping the community. The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count.
U.S. Census Bureau Resources
Additional Online Resources