PLEASE NOTE: These pages are currently under construction and not complete.
Stand up and be counted!
The 2020 Census will soon be upon us! Learn exactly what the census is, what to expect and what you need to be ready. Most of all, learn why it is vitally important that you and your family participate in the count.
So, let’s get those questions answered!
What is the census and do I have to participate?
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.
The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts 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). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail.
Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau.
Why is it so important that I participate in the 2020 census?
- The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location. Think school lunch programs, social service programs, special education, support for firefighters, public transportation, and wildlife programs to name a few.
- Over the last 4 years New Yorkers have paid $116 Billion more in federal taxes than the federal government has spent in New York State, the highest deficit situation of any state. That was caused partly by the under-count during the 2010 Census that was estimated to be over 1 million people.
- An under-count of as few as 16,000 people statewide could mean the loss of a congressional district in New York State (currently there are 27 congressional districts in NY, and an under-count could bring that total down to 26 or even 25).
- For more information about the importance of census participation, please check out the following links supplied by the federal government.
- Assist future generations in researching their ancestry. Census records are a great source of family history tidbits. Records can help researchers find where their family lived, when they lived there, find "missing" family members and much more.
So, how old is the census and what does it have to do with the US Constitution? Find out here!
Still interested in finding out more? Find additional information about census history, what census records are open to the public, how and who may request non-public census records, and view some famous/infamous census records here .
What do I need to do to get ready for the 2020 Census?
The 2020 Census is easy and takes very little time to complete. You will answer a simple questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is living with you on April 1, 2020. Sample census questionnaires can be viewed at the links below:
When and how do I complete the 2020 Census?
In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 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. If you don’t have computer, but would like to respond online, area libraries will have public computers that you may access for this purpose.
- By phone.
- By mail.