It is time for the 2020 Census! The Library is here to make this as easy as possible and we welcome you to visit us for assistance. Please review the below list of frequently asked questions to learn more about the 2020 Census.
What is the Census?
The Census is a population count conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. This count is mandated by the Constitution and will count the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
Why does the Census matter?
Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on Census data. The results also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. The U.S. Constitution also mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every ten years.
What information does the Census ask for?
Information asked for includes the number of people in your household, if the home is owned or rented, and your telephone number. You’ll also be asked about the age, gender, race or ethnic identity, and your relationship to those who are living in your household.
Is my Census data safe?
The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures that your private data is protected and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.
Will I be asked about my citizenship or immigration status?
There will not be a question regarding citizenship or immigration status. All those living in the United States should fill out the Census, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
Can I refuse to answer a question?
If you skip over a question, any data already submitted will still be counted. However, you may be contacted by the U.S. Census Bureau to fill in any skipped questions.
What happens if I don’t participate in the Census?
The U.S. Constitution requires participation by all those living in the United States. If you don’t participate via the three options (online, phone, mail), you may be contacted in-person by a Census worker.
How long does it take to fill out the questionnaire?
Only about ten minutes.
How can I respond to the Census?
By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding: online, by phone, or by mail.
The online and phone options will be available in 13 languages (Arabic, Chinese [Simplified], English, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese). Support will also be available in the above-listed languages.
Paper forms will be available in English and bilingual English-Spanish.
I need help with the questionnaire. Can the Library assist me?
We welcome you to visit the Library for assistance. While we can’t enter answers on your behalf, we can help get you set up on one of our computers or refer you to the phone or paper options. Computers are free to access, and we also have free wireless Internet throughout the building if you would prefer to use your own device.
Do you have another question that wasn’t answered here?
Call us at 708-598-8446.