Census Fast Facts
- All persons in the U.S., regardless of citizenship or immigration status, should be counted at their place of residence as of April 1st. This includes children and senior citizens.
- The census survey asks nine basic questions: your name, age, sex, birthdate, race, whether you are of Hispanic origin, the number of people living in your home on April 1, whether the home is rented or owned, and your phone number. There is no citizenship question.
- Your census responses are protected by federal law. The answers can only be used to produce statistics.
- Any information provided cannot be shared with immigration enforcement agencies, law enforcement agencies, or be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits.
Why is the Census Important?
- The results of the census will be used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. In 2010, Missouri lost a congressional seat because of census results.
- State officials will use the census results to redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts to reflect population shifts.
- The foundation also found in its research that for every adult or child not counted, the state lost $1,300 every year in federal funding.
- The funding goes to a variety of public services, including roads, bridges, hospitals and schools.
- Businesses rely on census data to decide where to put new shops and stores, and academics use it to research social issues.
How Can I Respond?
- People will receive invitations, beginning March 12, to fill out their Census forms by mail, by phone or online. Beginning March 16, reminder letters will be sent. A reminder postcard will follow that, followed by a reminder letter and a paper questionnaire. A final reminder postcard will be sent at the end of April, before canvassers begin in-person counting.
- Starting in March 2020, you can respond at 2020Census.gov. You can do it from a computer or on your cell phone.
- You will also be able to call the U.S. Census Bureau to answer the census questions.
- Some households will get the census questions by mail or hand-delivered to their home. This is because they may have limited internet access or older adults living in the home.
- The census will be available in many languages. The census will be available online and by phone in 13 languages, including Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Arabic. The paper version for mailing will be available in English and Spanish.
- The U.S. Census Bureau will provide non-English support materials, such as language guides, in American Sign Language (ASL), braille, and large print. The U.S. Census Bureau’s census questionnaire assistance will include a telecommunication device for the Deaf.
- College students? If you live away from home on April 1, 2020 you should be counted where you live. Colleges and universities will work directly with the U.S. Census Bureau to count people who live in dorms and residence halls. If you live in off-campus housing, you should respond to the census. If you are living at home with your parents, you should be counted at your home address.
- Military service members? The U.S. Census Bureau is working with the Department of Defense to make sure families and service members living in barracks or military campgrounds are counted. Service members who are deployed and stationed in the U.S. should be counted at their home address.
- Individuals experiencing homelessness? The U.S. Census Bureau has plans to reach individuals experiencing homelessness. People living in shelters should be counted at the shelter. If someone is staying with you, count them as part of your household.
- People in prison or correctional facilities? The U.S. Census Bureau has plans to count individuals living in correctional facilities, detention centers, prisons, and jails. They will be counted in these facilities.
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