What is the Census? The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to conduct a census or “actual enumeration” of every person living in the country every ten years. The next decennial census is the 2020 Census and the official 2020 Census Day is April 1, 2020. The U.S. Commerce Department’s Census Bureau is charged with carrying out each census but states, cities, and counties work closely with the Bureau to ensure an accurate count of the entire U.S. population. 

In March 2020 the Census Bureau and its local partners will begin counting group quarters—including but not limited to prisons, dormitories, and group homes—across the country. Next, the U.S. Census Bureau will send notifications to households nationwide to complete their short online questionnaire.  The questionnaire is short and should take approximately 10 minutes for each household to complete.

The Census Bureau will try several times to encourage households to complete the questionnaire online. Throughout the late spring and early summer of 2020 the Census Bureau will hire hundreds of people from your local community to serve as “census takers.” These individuals from your community will knock on the doors of households that have not completed the census questionnaire online. If you would like to avoid having a census taker knock on your door, do not forget to fill out the census questionnaire online. 

On December 31, 2020 the final 2020 Census results will be delivered to the President of the United States. By March 31, 2020 all 2020 Census results will be delivered to the States for use in their official House of Representatives redistricting processes.