CENSUS 101: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The census counts every person living in the US once, only once, and in the right place.
It’s about fair representation.
Every ten years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.
It’s in the Constitution.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.
It’s about $675 billion.
The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, and communities are based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs.
It’s about redistricting.
After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts.
Census data are being used all around you.
Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, which create jobs.
Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness.
Real estate developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.
Your privacy is protected.
It’s against the law for the Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household. By law your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce statistics.
2020 will be easier than ever.
In 2020, you will be able to respond to the census online.
You can help.
You are the expert—we need your ideas on the best way to make sure everyone in your community gets counted.
WHAT QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED?
- How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020.
- Whether the home is owned or rented.
- About the sex of each person in the household.
- About the age of each person in the household.
- About the race of each person in the household.
- About whether a person in the household is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.
- About the relationship of each person in the household to one central person.
HOW CAN I RESPOND?
By April 1, 2020, households will receive an invitation to participate in the census.
You will then have three ways to respond:
WHY THEY ASK
The census asks questions that provide a snapshot of the nation. Census results affect your voice in government, how much funding your community receives , and how your community plans for the future.
Population Count (Number of people living or staying)
This question is asked to collect an accurate count of the number of people at each address on Census Day, April 1, 2020. Each decade, census results determine how many seats your state gets in Congress. State and local officials use census counts to draw boundaries for districts.
Any Additional People Living Or Staying
The goal is to count people once, only once, and in the right place according to where they live on Census Day.
Owner / Renter
The census asks whether a home is owned or rented to create statistics about homeownership and renters. Homeownership rates serve as an indicator of the nation’s economy and help in administering housing programs and informing planning decisions.
A phone number is requested in case they need to contact you. Your phone number will never be shared and will only be used if needed for official Census Bureau business.
Listing the name of each person in the household helps respondents include all members, particularly in large households where a respondent may forget who was counted and who was not.
They ask for the sex of each person to create statistics about males and females. Census data about sex are used in planning and funding government programs, and in evaluating other government programs and policies to ensure they fairly and equitably serve the needs of males and females. These statistics are also used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination in government programs and in society.
Age And Date Of Birth
This information is used to understand the size and characteristics of different age groups and to present other data by age. Local, state, tribal, and federal agencies use age data to plan and fund government programs that provide assistance or services for specific age groups, such as children, working-age adults, women of childbearing age, or the older population. These statistics also help enforce laws, regulations, and policies against age discrimination in government programs and in society.
Hispanic, Latino, Or Spanish Origin
This is asked to create statistics about this ethnic group. The data collected are needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with antidiscrimination provisions, such as under the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
They ask about a person’s race to create statistics about race and to present other statistics by race groups. The data collected are needed by federal government agencies to monitor compliance with antidiscrimination provisions, such as under the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. State governments use the data to determine congressional, state, and local voting districts.
Whether A Person Lives Or Stays Somewhere Else
The goal is to count people once, only once, and in the right place according to where they live on Census Day. This is asked to ensure individuals are not included at multiple addresses.
They ask about the relationship of each person in a household to one central person to create estimates about families, households, and other groups. Relationship data are used in planning and funding government programs that provide fund or services for families, people living or raising children alone, grandparents living with grandchildren, or other households that qualify for additional assistance.
Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any way. By law, all responses to the U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential.