What is the census?
Every 10 years, the United States Constitution requires a count of all people in the country. In 2020, you will be able to complete the Census in four ways: online, by phone, by paper questionnaire, and through a designated Census enumerator.
The Census is a set of 10 questions that takes 10 minutes to complete and will determine the next 10 years of your quality of life in New York City. It is a count of ALL adults and children living within the United States as of April 1, 2020 regardless of citizenship status, age, or place of residence. A Census worker will visit your home if you do not respond by the end of April.
Information collected from the Census determines important local services and projects like where new roads, bridges and schools will be built; and determines the number of federal, state, and local government representatives for communities.
What is asked on the census?
The number of people living in your home or apartment as of April 1, 2020.
The name, sex, age, date of birth, and race of each person in the home.
The relationship of each person to a central person in the home.
Note: No questions about citizenship status, social security or financial details will be asked.
Why is the census important? What is decided by the census?
Our count will determine the apportionment of 435 congressional seats and the distribution of over $650 billion in funding for healthcare, education, housing, economic development, social services, roads, transportation, and more.
The Census is your opportunity to get your fair share of power, money, and representation for your community. In addition to over $650 billion in federal funding, the Census also triggers the redistricting process for elected districts. A stronger count in your neighborhood tells your representatives that you exist and matter in your district.
How can the census be completed — and when?
Once more: You will be able to complete the Census in four ways: online, by phone, by paper questionnaire, and through a designated Census enumerator. A Census worker will visit your home if you do not respond by the end of April.
Is the census data safe and secure? Is the information kept private?
Your household details are held safely and separately by the US Census Bureau and Census staff and protected under Title 13, the strongest privacy regulation in the country.
The Census Bureau, the agency tasked with collecting your information, is not allowed to share any information you provide to federal, local, or state agencies in an individual or household identifiable way. Your responses cannot be held against you and you are only reviewed as aggregated community-level data.
Other important things to keep in mind.
It is important to know that children younger than 5 and older senior adults are often underrepresented. Also — people experiencing homelessness; people of color; people living in poverty; those without internet access; immigrant communities. If you know any persons who fall into the previous categories, please inform them about the Census at once.
1. Children will not be counted in school. You are required to list your children on the Census questionnaire to make sure they count.
2. The Census questionnaire will never ask for your social security number or any financial information. The form will ask basic demographic information such as name, date of birth, ethnic background, and the names of each individual currently living in your household.
3. Almost every part of your daily life is impacted by decisions made based on Census data, like planning public transit, job creation, school funding, maintenance, and essential local, state, and federal programs.
4. You must fill out the Census form completely. If you do not fill out the entire questionnaire, Census workers are obligated to come to your address to get that information.