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2020 Census: You Asked, We Answered

Post Date:03/04/2020 9:00 AM

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The 2020 Census is right around the corner, and every household should be receiving their census forms around the middle of March. But, while we wait, we know you have questions about how the process will work. Here are a few answers to the most common questions about the census.

1. Why do we do a census?

The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years, since the very first census in 1790. The census acts as the official population count of everyone in the United States. Data from the census provide the basis for distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to communities across the country – like Corona – for vital programs that support housing, education transportation, employment health care and public policy.

2. Who is required to respond?

Everyone. All men, women, and children – regardless of age or citizenship status – who are living in the United States are required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.

3. When will I complete the census?

You will begin to receive a notice in the mail to complete the census this March 2020. Once you receive it, you can respond. 

4. How do I respond to the census?

For the first time, the U.S. Census will accept responses online, but you can still respond by phone or mail if you prefer.

5. What information will be requested?

This year’s decennial census will ask the following information:

  • How many people are living in your home on April 1, 2020
  • What type of home you live in
  • Your telephone number
  • Each person’s name, gender, date of birth, and race.
  • The relationship between each person living in your home
  • See a copy of the questionnaire

The following information will NOT be asked on the census:

  • Social Security numbersBank or credit card account numbers
  • Political affiliation
  • Citizenship status

6. Is my information truly safe and confidential?

Yes. Strict federal laws protect your census responses. Information collected during the 2020 census cannot be shared or used against you in any way. Your information is only used to generate statistics. It will not be shared with immigration or law enforcement agencies, and it cannot be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits.

7. How is census data used?

Census data is used to make decisions about a wide variety of federal funds and representation in legislative bodies. After each decennial census, state officials redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts to account for population shifts. More than $675 billion in federal funds, grants, and support to state, counties, and cities are distributed based on census data. And, local businesses use census data to determine where to locate offices, stores, and new homes.

8. How do I determine where my children or I live?

The best way to determine who to count on your household’s census is to decide where each person is living on April 1, 2020. For example, if you have joint custody of your children, they should be counted where they live most. College students living on campus should be counted where they reside most of the time (likely their university residence, not their parents’ home).

9. How do I identify a census representative?

It is possible that you may receive a phone call or an in-person visit from a Census worker. Here are some ways you can verify a person is an official Census Bureau employee:

  • The person will present an ID badge that includes their name, photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.
  • They will have an official bag and Census Bureau-issued electronic device with the Census logo.
  • Census takers will work between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Remember, Census representatives will NEVER ask for your Social Security number, banking information or any form of payment.

10. Where can I go for more information?

There is more information about the 2020 Census at the following websites:

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