Census 2020

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!


What to Expect / How to Take the 2020 Census


When it’s time to respond, most households will receive an invitation in the mail. Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you’ll receive either an invitation encouraging you to respond online or an invitation along with a paper questionnaire. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone.

What to Expect for Census 2020

When it’s time to respond, most households will receive an invitation in the mail. Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you’ll receive either an invitation encouraging you to respond online or an invitation along with a paper questionnaire. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone.



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 16, 2020:  A reminder letter and hard-copy Census form mailed
  • April 20 to April 27, 2020:  A final reminder Postcard mailed
  • May 1 to June 1, 2020:  U.S. Census bureau staff will follow up in person 


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.

2020 Census and Confidentiality -  English | Spanish

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. 

Learn more and apply

State Resources

Legislative Resources

Additional Online Resources