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.