Skip to Main Content

What's in the News for 2020!: 2020 Census

Post important news items for students and faculty

2020 Census at a Glance

Census Day is April 1, 2020..  The census is much more than just a head count.  It provides a picture of our nation that helps determine where to build new schools, hospitals, and businesses; how federal funding is distributed; and how congressional seats are apportioned.  It also helps us see how our communities have changed over time.  That's why an accurate count is so important. 

Once every decade, the federal government conduct a census of the entire population to count everyone in the United States and record basic information about them.  Our nation's founders believed this data was so important that they mandated the decennial census in the Constitution.

  • It's easy and convenient to complete the census.  In 2020 for the first time, the US Census Bureau will accept responses online and by phone.  You can also still complete the census by mail. 
  • The Census is confidential and secure.  Strict federal law protects your census responses.  It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual or business.  Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents information private.  The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment up to 5 years or both.  No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBE or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time.  Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding your community receives.
  • The Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, bank or credit card account numbers, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party.
  • The Census Bureau has a robust cyber security program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.

To make sure you and your community are counted, learn more about the 2020 Census by visiting


Important Key Milestones

January 2020 -The first enumeration of the 2020 Census takes place in Toksook, Alaska. Local census takers must get a head start while frozen ground allows easier access to remote areas with unique accessibility challenges.

March 2020 - The public can begin responding to the 2020 Census online at  Replying by mail or phone will also be an option.

April 2020 - Every 10 years, we observe Census Day on April 1.

June 2020 through July 2020 - Census takers go door to door to count people who have not responded to the 2020 Census.  Census takers are Census Bureau employees and will provide proof that they are official government personnel.

December 31, 2020 - By this date as required by law, the Census Bureau reports to the President of the United States the population count and the appointment of seats in the US House of Representatives to each state.

2021 - initial 2020 Census data are made available to the public on

Census 2020

Ways Census Data Is Used

  • Decision making at all levels of government.
  • Drawing federal, state and local legislative districts.
  • Attracting new businesses to state and local areas.
  • Distributing over $675 billion annually in federal funds and even more state funds.
  • Forecasting future transportation needs for all segments of the population.
  • Planning for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and the location of other health services.
  • Directing funds for services for people in poverty.
  • Estimating the number of people displaced by natural disasters.
  • Creating maps to speed emergency services to households in need of assistance.
  • Delivering good and services to local markets.
  • Designing facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly and children.
  • Facilitating scientific research.
  • Drawing school district boundaries.

 2020 Census Complete Count Committee Guide