Census 2020: Important for ALL of Us!


What is Census 2020?

Every 10 years, the federal government is legally required to count every person living in the United States, regardless of citizenship status, as part of the U.S. Census. 

The 2020 Census 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).

The census count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. 

What Makes Census 2020 So Important?

The census is used to determine funding for vital government programs such as SNAP,  Medicaid, Head Start and Early Head Start, and more.  

It is especially critical that all infants and children are counted, so that California and San Mateo County are allocated their proper share of federal dollars for childcare and funding for young children and their families.

The Census count is also used by the government to draw electoral district lines and determine how many seats each state will get in the House of Representatives. The greater the number of Californians, the greater our state’s representation in Congress and the greater our influence on federal legislation and programs.

How Does a Household Complete the Census?

The Census can be completed online in about 10 minutes. 

You will need to enter your Census ID# (please see below) and must complete the census in one sitting. Click here to see a sample questionnaire in English and in Spanish

The Census Questionnaire will be available in 12 languages.

Census 2020 Timetable

March 12th-20th
Census invitation postcards will be sent to every household. The postcard will include an ID number for that household that must be entered online when the Census is completed. Make sure you have the ID# on-hand when you go online to complete your household’s Census.

March 16th-24th 
A reminder letter will be sent to households.

April 1st is Census Day! 
This is the official due date for completing and submitting the Census questionnaire.

April 8th-16th
A reminder letter and paper questionnaire will be sent to households.

April 20th-27th
A final reminder postcard will be sent to households that haven’t completed the Census, before a Census worker follows up in person.

Census workers visit addresses that did not complete a Census questionnaire to collect information at the door.

December 31st
The Census Director delivers apportionment counts to the President.

March 2021
The Census Bureau completes delivery of redistricting counts to the states.

Important Reminder for ECE Providers!

It is important to spread the word about Census 2020 to family and friends. The families in your care or attending your center might not be aware of Census 2020, and might not know that every child and infant living with them on April 1, 2020 must be counted. 

Here is a poster created by Sesame Street, in English and in Spanish, as well as a useful one-page summary from San Mateo County, also in English and Spanish.  

Questions? Assistance is Easy to Find!

There are more than 60 locations in San Mateo County where residents can go for assistance and support with their Census 2020 Questionnaire!  Most locations will start providing assistance on March 12th, but look for the specific days and hours for each location. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau offers in-language telephone support.

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