YOU COUNT: Why the Census in 2020 Matters

It’s time to fill out the Census! Every 10 years, the national Census takes place to count all the people in the United States. As a parent or caregiver, it is important to make sure that every member of your family gets counted because a lot rides on these numbers. Here’s a brief description of what’s at stake and why the 2020 census matters.

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What’s the Census?

The Census is how the U.S. government counts how many people live in the United States. Taken every 10 years, the Census helps to decide political representation and how the government allocates resources for our families. The Census will begin March 12, 2020 online at https://2020census.gov.

Why does the Census matter?

Census information is important for a lot of reasons:

  • It’s about FAIR REPRESENTATION: After the Census is taken, the population count is used to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts – including the House of Representatives for each state, depending on its population.
  • It’s about FUNDING: Census data is used to distribute billions of dollars in funding to state and local governments—including funding for schools, roads, and local services that help keep our communities strong. Make sure your entire family is counted so these important resources are directed to your area.
  • It’s about the FUTURE: Population data is used to plan where to build new schools, hospitals, supermarkets, and other local businesses.
  • Ultimately the Census matters because we ALL count – it is our job to participate in our democracy and claim the resources and our right to political representation.

Who is counted?

The Census counts EVERYONE living in the United States – no matter what their immigration status is.

What questions get asked during the Census?

  • The number of people living or staying in a home on April 1, 2020 – including infants
  • Whether the home is owned, rented, or occupied without rent
  • A phone number for someone living in the home
  • The name, sex, age, date of birth and race of each person in the home
  • The relationship of each person to a central person in the home.

Is the information provided on the Census form kept private?

YES! The information your family shares with the Census is sensitive, and the Census Bureau is legally required to protect it.

  • The information you share can only be used to create statistics
  • Answers CANNOT be shared with or used by law enforcement immigration enforcement or any branch of the government. Your information will not be shared with the police, immigration services (ICE), the FBI, or the CIA.

Will the 2020 Census include a question about citizenship?

NO! You may have heard that the Census might ask who is and isn’t a citizen, but the courts barred that question from the form. Everyone has a right to fill out the Census.

  • If someone you know is nervous to open their doors to the Census workers who visit homes to gather forms, they can still participate in the Census online, by telephone, or at community-run assistance centers.

Can someone refuse to answer a Census question?

  • Census workers may follow up on homes that have incomplete or unanswered Census forms
  • If you skip a questions or submit an incomplete form, you will still be included in the head count, BUT technically you can be fined for refusing or giving false information – though enforcement of that penalty is unusual.

Is the Census available in other languages?

YES!

  • Online + by Phone: English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
  • Paper forms: Available in English and Spanish
  • There are also video and printed guides to the Census in 59 non-English languages, as well as a video in American Sign Language

Fill Out Your Census Questionnaire by April 30th

  • Make sure someone in your home fills out the Census and that everyone in the home is counted by April 30th.
  • Get the facts about the Census and share them with family and friends. People in your community may be getting mixed messages about what the Census.
  • Follow us on Facebook @TalkWithYourKids for more information and reshare our graphics to get the word out.