Census 2020

The U.S. Census is a way to count the population of the United States. The census takes place every 10 years and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. College students will be counted in the communities where they go to school and live the majority of the year. Most college students need to be counted at their college address, either on campus or off campus. They should be counted at their parents’ home only if they live and sleep at that location most of the year.

Every individual/household in the United States can complete the census. You do not have to be a U.S. Citizen or legal resident to fill out the census. International students and undocumented individuals living in the U.S. can fill out the census.

The census provides federal funding, grants, and support to states based off of the state’s total and demographic (e.g., race, sex, age, etc.) population. Non-profit organizations, businesses, local government, real estate developers and city planners use census information to improve our local community.

Federal law protects information you share on the census. It is against the law for an individual’s personal information to be published, disclosed, or used against them in any way. Title 13 of the U.S. Codes is the law that protects confidentiality. Also, every U.S. Census Bureau employee takes an oath to uphold confidentiality. The penalty for breaking that oath is $250,000 and up to five years in prison.

Census 2020 timeline

  • Mar. 12-20, 2020. The Census starting mailing flyers with invitation to respond. You can fill out the Census online, by phone or by mail
  • Apr. 1, 2020. Census Day! By this day, every residential address should have received a mailer.
  • Mid-Apr. 2020. Census takers will go door-to-door to homes where they have not yet received a response.
  • Dec. 31, 2020. Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts
  • Mar. 31, 2021. Census Bureau sends redistricting counts to each state

Where can you be counted?

  • On-campus. If you live on campus the University will work with you to be counted with the Census office. Do not fill out the census.
  • Off-campus with roomates. If you live off-campus one (1) person from your household will fill out the census. You will get a postcard in the mail around March 2020 inviting you to fill out the form online, by paper/mail, or by phone. Talk to your roommates about the census and make sure everyone in your household is counted. Talk to your parents/family and tell them not to include you in their household count.
  • Off-campus with family. If you live the majority of your time off-campus with your family they should include you in their count.
  • International students. If you’re an international student studying in the U.S. this spring, you will be counted in the Census.
  • Studying abroad. If you are going to be studying abroad in Spring of 2020 you will not be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. Do not fill out the census.

How to fill out the U.S. Census

A letter will be mailed to you with a User ID number and Pin number. Please go to the American Community Survey website and input your User ID and your PIN number to get started filling out the census. If you have not received your census information in the mail, by Apr. 1, 2020 please call (800) 354-7271 and a User ID and Pin number will be generated for you to go to the website and begin completing the census.

What questions will be asked on the census?

The U.S. Census 2020 has a complete list of questions that will be asked during the 2020 census. Questions include the number of people living in your home; types of housing, contact information (e.g., telephone number); names, age and date of birth; sex (e.g., male/female); race and origin information; and related household information.