The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790. The next census is coming in 2020. Ultimately, the success of the census depends on everyone’s participation. The Census Bureau depends on cross-sector collaborations with organizations and individuals to get people to participate. America comes together to count every resident in the United States, creating national awareness of the importance of the census and its valuable statistics. Counting an increasingly diverse and growing population is a massive undertaking. It requires years of planning and the support of thousands of people.
What to Expect in 2020
By April 2020, households will have received an invitation to participate in the census. You’ll then have three options to respond: online, by phone, or by mail. Census Day is April 1, 2020, it will be celebrated with events across the country. This is a key date for the 2020 count: When completing the census, you’ll note where you are living on April 1st.
Who gets counted in the census?
The Census Bureau includes every person living in the U.S. — regardless of citizenship or immigration status. International visitors on vacation or work trips to the U.S. during the census are not included. Residents are counted at the address where they usually live and sleep. The Census Bureau has a detailed plan of how the 2020 census will count deployed troops, college students, incarcerated people, those displaced by natural disasters and other groups in unique living situations.
What questions will the 2020 census ask?
Most of the questions will be similar to what census forms have asked for in recent counts:
Notable changes for 2020 include new write-in areas under the race question for the non-Hispanic origins of those who identify as white and/or black (“German” and “Jamaican” are among the provided examples). There are also new household relationship categories that allow couples living together to identify their relationships as either “same-sex” or “opposite-sex.”
Why It Matters
Hospitals. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of your community. Population and household counts, provide the basis for reapportioning congressional seats and redistricting. Each year, the results also help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds is distributed to support states, counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.
The Census Bureau is expected to announce the new population counts by Dec. 31, 2020.