The Census is the constitutionally mandated counting of the population of the United States. The next Census occurs in 2020 beginning in April.
The government uses Census data to determine which communities will get more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on things like schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs. The results 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.
In mid-March, homes across the country will begin receiving invitations to participate in the 2020 Census. You can participate online, by phone, or by mail. Census workers also do outreach to people experiencing homelessness. Households that haven’t responded to the Census will be visited by Census workers between May and July. By December, the U.S. Census Bureau will deliver statistics to the President and Congress.
This is the first time the Census will be primarily done online through computer or smartphone. This makes the role of libraries even more vital to try and bridge the digital divide.
The U.S. Census Bureau protects the confidentiality of anyone who takes the Census. It is illegal for the Census Bureau to share information about any individual or household. The Census Bureau does not share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, or the police.