US Census 2020 Q & A

US Census 2020 Q & A

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US Census 2020 Q & A


US Census 2020 Q & A


What is the Census?

The federal Census was established by Congress and the first Census was done in 1790. The Census is completed every ten years to determine how many people are living in the United States, where they are living, and the ages, sex and ethnic and racial make-up of the population. This information is used to determine where and how over $675 billion dollars is spent every year—an average of $2500/year for every person counted—and how many federal and state representatives each state will have. The federal government wants everyone who is living in the country to be counted once at the location where they regularly live OR at the location where they are living on April 1st, 2020.


 Who completes a Census questionnaire?

One census questionnaire is completed for each household in the United States. Even if unrelated people are living together, only one census is completed for that housing unit. If your residence has an apartment, and that apartment has its own unique address, a separate census must be filled out by the apartment’s residents.


Who should be Included on the Census in Your Household?

 Everyone who is living in your household, either permanently or temporarily. Include ALL children, no matter what ages, and all other relatives and non-relatives who live in your residence including grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, foster children, friends who are staying with you if they do not have a permanent residence.

If someone (a child, parent, relative or nonrelative) only lives with you part-time, what should you do?

If this person alternates between two households, he/she should be included on the census where he/she lives most of the time. If the time is split equally, he/she should be included on the census questionnaire of the residence where he/she is living on April 1st. If this person is only temporarily living with you and has no permanent residence, he/she should be included on your census form.

My son/daughter are away at school. Do I include him/her on my census?

If they live at or near school, you should not include them on your census since they are living most of the year at the school. If they live in a dormitory or other on-campus housing, they will be automatically entered in the census for the college/boarding school through the school’s administration. If your child is living off-campus either alone or with other people, a census form must be filled out by them. Everyone who lives in this apartment or house must be included on the same census form.  NOTE: These rules apply even if the school has sent your child home, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

My parents live in a senior living residence. Will they fill out their own  Census form?

If your parents are living in a senior community, they will fill out a form if they are independent residents. If they live in a nursing home or memory wing of an assisted living complex, the administration will provide information to the Census Bureau on behalf of your parents. If you are not sure, please contact the director of the facility to determine the details about your parents’ census form.

We live in several different places during the year. Which residence should we use?

You should use the residence where you live most of the year. If you spend most of your time living with another relative, then remind that relative to include you on their census form.

Is the Census data safe and kept private?

Yes, all Census information is private and cannot be used by anyone in the government for any reason. Any government official or census bureau staff person who discloses any census personal data will be fined and serve time in prison.  After seventy-two years, census data is made available to the public. This data is used by people all over the country for family research.


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