Who benefits from the Census count?
The Census count benefits YOU if:
- You drive on the road
- You attend school or have children in school
- See more local businesses open in your area
- You want government representation at the local, state, and federal level
- You qualify for federally-funded programs like Medicare, Section 8 Housing, or HUD grants
- You support programs like the National School Lunch Program, Health Center Programs for migrants or the homeless, Foster Care programs, etc.
- You want your community to improve via food or housing assistance or infrastructure projects
The 2020 Census at a Glance
The U.S. Census Bureau is the federal government’s largest statistical agency. We are dedicated to providing current facts and figures about America’s people, places, and economy. Federal law protects the confidentiality of all individual responses the Census Bureau collects. The U.S. Constitution requires that each decade we take a count— or a census—of America’s population.
The census provides vital information for you and your community.
- It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries. Redistricting counts are sent to the states by March 31, 2021.
- Communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of resident needs including new roads, schools, and emergency services.
- Businesses use census data to determine where to open places to shop.
Each year, the federal government distributes more than $675 billion to states and communities based on Census Bureau data.
In 2020, we will implement new technology to make it easier than ever to respond to the census. For the first time, you will be able to respond online, by phone, as well as by mail. We will use data that the public has already provided to reduce followup visits. And, we are building an accurate address list and automating our field operations—all while keeping your information confidential and safe.
Census Confidentiality: The Law
Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any way. By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential.
Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households, or businesses, even to law enforcement agencies.
The law states that the information collected may only be used for statistical purposes and no other purpose.
To support historical research, Title 44 of the U.S. Code allows the National Archives and Records Administration to release census records only after 72 years.
All Census Bureau staff take a lifetime oath to protect your personal information, and any violation comes with a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison.
How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond: Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone.
Nearly every household will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census from either a postal worker or a census worker.
Cómo el Censo del 2020 invitará a todos a responder
Todos los hogares tendrán la opción de responder por internet, por correo postal o por teléfono.
Casi todos los hogares recibirán una invitación para participar en el Censo del 2020 ya sea de un empleado del servicio postal o de un censista.
The 2020 Census and Confidentiality: Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any
way. By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential.
El Censo del 2020 y la Confidencialidad: Descargar el folleto
Sus respuestas al Censo del 2020 están seguras, a salvo y protegidas por la ley federal. Sus respuestas se pueden usar solamente para producir estadísticas—no se pueden usar en su contra de ninguna manera. Por ley, todas las respuestas a las encuestas sobre hogares y empresas que realiza la Oficina del Censo de los EE. UU. se mantienen completamente confidenciales.