Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

The Census: Census FAQs

This guide give information about the Census.

Frequently Asked Questons (FAQ) about the census

What is the decennial census?

The census is counted every 10 years, starting in 1790, as written in the U S Constitution. Data from the census is provides the basis for distributing funds across the country to support programs for housing, employment, health care, transportation and education. Data is also used to redraw congressional and state legislative districts and determine the number of congressional seats each state has in the U S House of Representatives.

When will the census be completed?

Census forms will be mailed out in March 2020; the official census count starts April 1, 2020. In May, the Census Bureau will follow up in person with households that haven't responded to the census.

What information will be requested?

The census collects basic information about all the people living in your household.

Will the information be kept confidential?

Federal law protects census responses. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years or both.

Will there be a citizenship question on the census?

No. The Supreme Court and other courts have blocked the government from adding a citizenship question.

What happens if you don't answer the census?
You can face penalties up to $10,000 for not reporting or falsely answering the census questionnaire. (US Code.Title 13, Section 224)