Census 2020

Census 2020

Census: What You Need To Know

Who, what and where of the Census

The Census Bureau’s mission is to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people and economy. The Census’ goal is to provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality and cost for the data we collect and services we provide.

It’s in the Constitution

The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first Census was in 1790.

Everyone counts

The Census counts every person living in the U.S. once and in the right place.

It’s about fair representation

Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.

It’s about the proper distribution of Federal funds

The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on Census data. This money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

Your privacy is protected

It’s against the law for the Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household.

2020 will be easier than ever

In 2020, you will be able to respond to the Census online for the first time in history. However, every household will have the option of responding by mail or by phone, as well.

By the numbers

95% of households will receive their Census invitation in the mail. 5% of households will receive their Census invitation when a Census taker drops it off. Less than 1% of households will be counted in person by a Census taker instead of being invited to respond on their own. This is only done in very remote areas of the country.

When to expect your Census invitation
  • March 12-20 : an invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census will be mailed out
  • March 16-24: reminder letters will be mailed out
  • March 26-April 3: reminder postcards will be mailed out
  • April 8-16: a second reminder letter and a paper questionaire will be mailed out
  • April 20-27: a final reminder postcard will be mailed out before a Census taker follows up in person. 

Census Resources

Census.gov – For additional information about the Census including employment, data, and FAQs 

Easy Census Help – A tutorial on how to complete your 2020 Census questionaire online

The Census Questionnaire Assistance phone line at 844-330-2020 – Live customer service representatives supporting 13 languages from March 9 through July 31.

For any other questions, please contact your regional Census office at philadelphia.rcc.partnership@2020census.gov.

Library Staff is also available to answer questions and provide assistance at the Service Desk during regular business hours.