The 2020 Census will count the population in all 50 states, D.C., and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
The count is mandated by the Constitution. Participation in the Census is required by law, and for good reason! The census provides critical data used to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in Federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
In mid-March, homes across the country will receive an invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau to respond, and you can do so either online, by phone, or by mail. This will be the 24th Census; the first took place in 1790!
The U.S. Census Bureau has a ton of great information for the public to help answer all of your questions.
- What is the 2020 Census?
- The Questions
- Important Dates
- Who is Required to Respond?
- Ways to Respond
- Who to Count
- Importance of the Data
- How the Census Bureau Protects Your Data
- How to Avoid Scams
- Working for the 2020 Census: Jobs
There are several ways that you can contact the U.S. Census Bureau for support.
- For general questions: Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, or call 301-763-INFO (4636) or 800-923-8282.
- For information on services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing: Call the TTY number at 800-877-8339 to reach the Federal Relay Service.
- For information about the application and hiring process for 2020 Census jobs, see these frequently asked questions or call 855-JOB-2020 (855-562-2020).
For even more U.S. Government resources on the 2020 Census, search “2020 Census” in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. From there, you will gain access to Congressional reports, resources for educators, informational materials on how to respond to the Census, studies and reports on the Census from the Government Accountability Office, and more.
The Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy, so they’re doing a lot more statistical analyses than just the 2020 Census. For example, keeping abreast of income and poverty statistics is one of their key responsibilities. Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 highlights household income, wages/earnings, and poverty. The statistics provided in this publication provide essential, credible information about the economic state of the nation.
The U.S. Census Bureau also provides a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the nation’s health insurance condition including types of coverage, the quality of insurance, with breakouts for states and key demographics in Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018. Charts, figures, and data point comparisons and changes from previous years’ health data is shown through select colorful graphs as well.
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About the author: Kelly Seifert is the Strategic Communications Coordinator for GPO’s Library Services & Content Management division.