The U.S. Census Bureau is the federal government’s largest statistical agency. It is dedicated to providing current facts and figures about America’s people, places and economy. Federal law protects the confidentiality of all individual responses the Bureau collects.
The U.S. Constitution requires that a count - or a census - of America’s population takes place each decade.
The census provides vital information for you and your community.
- It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries. Redistricting counts are sent to the states by March 31, 2021.
- Communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of resident needs including new roads, schools and emergency services.
- Businesses use census data to determine where to open new locations.
Each year, the federal government distributes more than $675 billion to states and communities based on Census Bureau data.
In 2020, the Bureau will implement new technology to make it easier than ever to respond to the census. For the first time, you will be able to respond online, by phone or mail. It will use data the public has already provided to reduce followup visits. And it is building an accurate address list and automating field operations—all while keeping information confidential and safe.
The 2020 Census is closer than you think!
Here’s a quick refresher of what it is and why it’s essential that everyone is counted.
The census counts every person living in the US. once, only once, and in the right place.
Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.
The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities is based on census data.
That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
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.
Completing the census is mandatory: it’s a way to participate in our democracy and say “I COUNT!”
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.
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.
In 2020, you will be able to respond to the census online.
You are the expert—we need your ideas on the best way to make sure everyone in your community gets counted.
2020 Census Jobs
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count.