Census 2020

Census 2020

Census 2020 graphic


CENSUS 2020 – Be Sure You’re Counted!


The 2020 Census is happening now.

The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the United States and its five territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

You can respond online, by phone, or by mail. On March 12 a notice was sent in the mail asking you to complete the 2020 Census, and giving you a Census ID code. Once you receive it, you can respond online. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that haven’t responded to the census.

 Responding to the census is not only your civic duty; it also affects the amount of funding our community gets, how our community plans for the future, and our representation in government.


CENSUS 2020 FAQ’s in Brief

What is the Census? 

Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States, as required by the US Constitution. The Constitution also requires that the count include “the whole number of persons in each State,” not just citizens.

Data from the census provides the basis for :

  • Determining the number of Representatives each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Determining the number of Electoral College seats each state gets in the next presidential elections
  • Setting the boundaries of U.S. congressional and state legislative districts
  • Distributing more than $675 Billion each year in federal funds, to communities across the country, to support vital programs, such as:
        • Schools
        • Housing
        • Health clinics and other health care
        • Roads, bridges, and other infrastructure
        • Employment


Census 2020 Santa Clara County CA


How to take the Census

In 2020, for the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online, but you can still respond by phone or mail if you prefer. Once you have all the information ready, responding online should take less than 10 minutes.

 Who answers the Census?

Just one person in the home should respond to the census questionnaire. While it can be anyone 15 years old or over, it’s usually the person who owns or pays rent on the living unit. That person should live in the home or place of residence themselves and know general information about each person living there, including children and long-term visitors.

 What information do you need to answer the Census?

For the initial questions you will need to know:

  • The number of persons living at that address on April 1, including babies
  • Whether the dwelling is rented or owned

 Then you will need to know the following information for every person in the household:

  • Name
  • Relationship to you
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Race, including main country or countries of origin

 You can add as many people as you need. For more information about who you should include on your list, go to 2020census.gov/en/who-to-count.html.

What information will NOT be asked by the Census?

 The Census Bureau will NOT ask for:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Citizenship status
  • Bank or credit card account numbers
  • Money or donations
  • Anything about voting or on behalf of a political party

 Will information submitted to the Census be kept confidential?

YES! Strict federal law protects your census responses.

 No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time. The Census Bureau has a robust cybersecurity program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.

 It is against the law (Title 13) for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.

 The answers you provide are used only in large groups, combined with many other people’s answers, to produce statistics that are used to analyze issues such as where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.

 You are always kept anonymous. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.

Where to go to learn more about the Census

You can learn more about the 2020 Census by visiting 2020census.gov

Find out about Santa Clara County's efforts to support the Census at www.sccgov.org/census.