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Finding & Using U.S. Census Data

A guide for finding and ulilizing data from the U.S. Census

Who should Respond?

The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the United States and its five territories including non U.S. citizens and those in group living situations such as college dorms. The 2020 Census does not ask citizenship questions and your information is completely confidential even to other government agencies.

One person should respond for each home. This responder should:

  • be at least 15 years old
  • live in the home or place of residence themselves
  • know general information about each person living there.

How to Participate?

Most households received their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census that will include detailed information and a Census ID for completing the Census online. Please complete your census form online, by phone, or by mail when your invitation to respond arrives.

For more information, please check out the method guides:

If you do not receive an invitation to respond from the Census Bureau, you may respond online or visit the Contact Us page to call their phone line.

Why is it Important?

Over the next decade, your response to the 2020 Census will impact:

  • congressional representation

  • allocation of federal funding

  • business decisions

  • and so much more

For more information please visit 2020 Census's Importance of the Data and Impact in your Community page.

Important Dates

April 1 Census Day. We use this day to determine who is counted and where in the 2020 Census. When you respond, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.

March 12 - April 30 Self-Response Operation

May 13 - July 31 Non-Response Follow-Up

July 31 Last day for households to self-respond online, by phone or by mail


If a college is temporarily closed (including on April 1), where should a college student be counted?

In general, students in colleges and universities temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus will still be counted as part of this process. Even if they are home on census day, April 1, they should be counted according to the residence criteria which states they should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. We are asking schools to contact their students and remind them to respond. Per the Census Bureau’s residence criteria, in most cases students living away from home at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily elsewhere due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the COVID-19 Press Kit to learn more.

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