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Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a 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 to support vital programs—impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy. They also are used to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts and accurately determine the number of congressional seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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.
Responding to the census is not only your civic duty; it also affects the amount of funding your community receives, how your community plans for the future, and your representation in government. Specifically, data from the 2020 Census are used to:
If you are visited by someone from the U.S. Census Bureau, here are some tips to assure the validity of the field representative:
Census takers must present an ID badge that includes a photograph of the field representative, a Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date.
Note that census workers may be carrying a Census Bureau phone or a laptop as well as a bag with a Census Bureau logo.
If you still have questions, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. You can also search for an agent's name in the Census Bureau's online staff directory.
Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Your community benefits the most when the census counts everyone. When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.
The framers of the Constitution of the United States chose population to be the basis for sharing political power, not wealth or land. A census aims to count the entire population of a country, and at the location where each person usually lives.
The census asks questions of people in homes and group living situations, including how many people live or stay in each home, and the sex, age and race of each person. The goal is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.
For the first time in the history of the U.S. census, you will be able to fill out your questionnaire online. In the past, you received a census form in the mail that needed to be filled out and mailed back to the Census Bureau.
For the 2020 Census, between March 12, 2020, and March 20, 2020, Wellington households will receive a letter asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire.
If you haven’t responded by April 1, you will receive a reminder postcard. If you still don’t respond, you will receive a reminder letter and a paper questionnaire. Use a pen with blue or black ink, or a #2 pencil to fill out the form. Mail it back in the postage-paid return envelope. If you have trouble with your form or answering a question, call the Census Bureau at 1-800-354-7271.
By April 20th, if you haven’t filled out your form, you will receive a third postcard reminder, followed up by an in-person census taker.
Starting in 2019, you may begin to notice census takers in your neighborhood. This is a normal part of the 2020 Census preparation and data collection process. Census field representatives will also continue to collect information for the American Community Survey (ACS) and other ongoing surveys. Learn how to verify the identity of a census worker.
The next census will take place in 2020. Beginning in mid-March, people will receive a notice in the mail to complete the 2020 Census. Once you receive it, you can respond online. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that haven’t responded to the census.
When it's time to respond, most households will receive an invitation in the mail.
Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. In 2020, for the first time ever, the Census Bureau will accept responses online and by phone. Responding should take less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee. You can still respond by mail.
Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you'll receive either an invitation encouraging you to respond online or an invitation asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire.
Most areas of the country are likely to respond online, so most households will receive a letter asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire. Look for this letter on or between March 12-20.
Letter Invitation and Paper Questionnaire
Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation. The invitation will also include information about how to respond online or by phone. Look for this letter on or between March 12-20.
The decennial census will collect basic information about the people living in your household. When completing the census, you should count everyone who is living in your household on April 1, 2020.
The Census Bureau will never ask for:
•Social Security numbers.
•Bank or credit card account numbers.
•Money or donations.
•Anything on behalf of a political party.
Here are just 50 ways in which Census data is used: