Census 2020

What is the Census

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. A complete and accurate count is critical for you and your community, because the results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, and more.

Importance of the Data

The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade. The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation - who we are, where we live, and so much more. Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more service for families, older adults, and children. The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

How do I know who to count?

While filling out the census for your household, you should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This will include any friends and family, roommates, or young children that are sleeping in your home when April 1st approaches. Even if these arrangements are temporary, they still count! It is important to remember to count any children who are living with you. This includes all children who live in your home, including foster children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and the children of friends. If your child splits time between homes, they will still be counted in your household if they are living with you on April 1, 2020. You should not count any children that are in college and living in their school’s town, unless they are living with you and commuting to school on April 1st.

Ways to Respond

Responding to the census is easier than ever this year! By April1, 2020 every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • By phone
In mid-March, Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census. Watch the video posted below to see how to respond online!

For More Information

2020census.gov
census.gov

What will I receive in the mail?

Most households are likely to respond online, therefore most homes will receive a letter asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire or respond by phone. Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation. The invitation will also include information about how to respond online or by phone.

On or between March 12th through March 20th you will receive an invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census. Some households will also receive paper questionnaires. During the period of March 16th through March 24th households will receive a reminder letter. If by March 26th through April 3rd, you still haven’t responded you will receive a reminder postcard. By April 8th through April 16th you will be receiving a reminder letter and paper questionnaire. Finally, by April 20th through April 27th, if you still have not responded to the 2020 Census, you will receive a final reminder postcard before a census worker follows up in person!

For most college or university students, it may be confusing as to where they would be counted. Would they be counted at their parents’ home since they pay the bills or because their parents claim them as dependents? The answer is no. They should be counted where they live most of the time. College students are counted in the household they reside in on April 1, 2020, this is a good way to determine where you should be counted. Students who are living in university campus housing will be counted by the Census beginning in April. Students renting or owning homes in Nacogdoches should fill out one Census survey per house, with all residents listed on the form. You should not be counted at your parents’ house unless you commute from your parents’ home and actively live there.

How Your Answers are Protected

The Census Bureau and its workers are bound by Title 13 of the U.S. code to keep your information confidential. Infact, each employee takes an oath to protect your answers. If this oath is broken there are strict penalties. Under Title 13, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures that your private data is protected and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. The answers you provide are strictly used to produce statistics and nothing more. You are kept anonymous.

Avoiding Scams, Staying Safe, and Reporting Suspected Fraud

When someone tries to get your information by pretending to be an entity that your trust is called Phishing. This happens by receiving emails that often direct you to a website that looks real but is fake - and may be infected with malware. It is important to know that the Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation in the 2020 Census. It is also important to know that the Census Bureau will never ask for the following information:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your bank account or credit card numbers
  • Money or donations

If someone visits your home to a collect a response for the 2020 Census, you can do the following to verify their identity:

  • Ask for a proof of identification and look for the following items to validate it:
    • Their photograph
    • A U.S. Department of Commerce Watermark
    • An expiration date
  • If after checking their ID you still can’t decide if it is valid or not, you may call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau Representative. Please report to this number as well if you suspect fraud.