The census is a count of every person who lives in the United States and its territories. It happens every 10 years. In early 2020, you will be asked to count everyone who lives in your home as of April 1. Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape your future.
The updated deadline for the 2020 Census is October 31, 2020.
Health clinics. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census affects many different aspects of our community.
- Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year.
- The results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.
- It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.
Easy and Convenient
In 2020, for the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online, but you can still respond by phone or mail if you prefer. View a sample census form to see what questions you will be asked.
Confidential and Secure
Strict federal law protects your census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual or business. No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding your community receives.
The 2020 Census is underway and more households across America are responding every day. However, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations in order to:
- Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees.
- Implement guidance from Federal, State, and local authorities regarding COVID-19.
- Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.
Online, phone and mailed self-responses will continue throughout the data collection process. In-person activities, including enumeration, office work (Durham Census Office), and processing activities, will incorporate the most current guidance from authorities to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public.
March 2020 - The public will receive invitations in the mail to complete the 2020 Census and can begin responding to the census online at 2020census.gov. Replying by mail or phone will also be an option.
April 2020 - Every 10 years, we observe Census Day on April 1.
June 2020 through July 2020 - Census takers go door to door to count people who have not responded to the 2020 Census. Census takers are Census Bureau employees and will provide proof that they are official government personnel.
October 31, 2020 - The revised deadline for the 2020 Census.
April 30, 2021 - By this date, as required by law, the Census Bureau reports to the President of the United States the population count and the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to each state.
July 31, 2021 - By law, the Census Bureau will deliver the local counts each state needs to complete legislative redistricting.
2021 - Initial 2020 Census data are made available to the public on census.gov.
*Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this timeline has been revised. To view the variation between the planned and revised schedule, click here.