What Is the 2020 Census?
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.
The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail.
Why We Conduct This Count
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.
It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.
Ways To Respond
There are three ways to respond to the 2020 Census.
By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:
- By phone.
- By mail.
In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census.