CTV Updates: Census 101

The 2020 Census is happening now! Every ten years, the nonpartisan U.S. Census Bureau counts the population of the United States and the data impacts government decisions for the next ten years! Take the Census today and encourage your loved ones to get counted at https://2020census.gov/en.html. The response deadline (previously extended due to COVID-19) has been shortened to September 30th. 

Why does the Census matter? 

The Census data determines the government funding and representation that directly impacts our communities! Federal funding to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other services that affect our daily lives is determined by the Census results. These results also determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. These representatives have further power to influence public programs and to advocate for the issues that we care about. Click here to learn more about how the Census impacts our communities. 

How do I take the Census? 

The short questionnaire can be filled out online, over the phone, or by mail. One Census survey can be filled out per household - the form asks about you and everyone that was living with you on April 1st, 2020. Online and over the phone, the Census can be taken in 13 different languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese), and mail-in forms can be accompanied by over 50 language guides including Braille, American Sign Language, and Large Print. Language should not be a barrier to filling out the Census! Click here for language support. 

Who should take the Census? 

Everyone living in the United States or the five territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) is required to respond! Anyone in the household over the age of 15 can fill out the form. Everyone counts! The Census Bureau has procedures to count people living in group environments including colleges, group homes, nursing facilities, correctional facilities, and military barracks and vessels. Click here to learn more about how to count your group living quarters. Click here to learn how to get counted if you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness. 

What questions are asked? 

The Census will ask about each person living in a household. In addition to the type of housing and the telephone number of the responder, the survey will ask about each household member’s name, sex, date of birth, race, and relationship to the responder. 

There is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The survey will NOT ask for a social security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, or bank or credit card account numbers. 

Will my answers be shared? 

All personal information gathered by the Census Bureau is CONFIDENTIAL. Federal law requires the Census Bureau to protect your information, and the data will be used only for statistical purposes. Click here to learn more about how your information will be protected. 

Spread the word! 

After you’ve taken the Census, encourage your friends and family to take it too! Together let’s get counted and show up for our communities! 

  • Click here to follow the Census Bureau on social media for shareable posts, facts, and stories
  • Click here for a MASSCreative Social Media Toolkit to spread the word about the Census 
  • Already working on the Census or have creative ideas? Share them with us so we can join in your work! Email [email protected] 
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