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Posted on: January 13, 2020

2020 Census


The decennial census (census) is a complete count of everyone residing in the United States. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens. It is mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The next census will take place April 1, 2020. The goal of Census 2020 is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. It is estimated that the state of Maryland receives roughly $2,700 per person and it is vitally important that every person is counted. This is the first time the Census survey will be conducted almost exclusively online, but surveys will continue to be accepted via mail and over the phone. 

Concerned about confidentiality? Read the images below from the Census (also available in other languages).

Census 2020-confidentiality-factsheetCensus 2020-confidentiality-factsheet2

2020 Census Timeline

March 12-20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. 

March 30-April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.

April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.

April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count. 

May-July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.

December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.

The Census Will Never Ask You Certain Questions

During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Money or donations
  • Anything on behalf of a political party
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate. For more information, visit Avoiding Fraud and Scams.

Sample 2020 Census

View Sample Census

Who Counts on Your Census Form

Take this quiz to test your Census knowledge.


Learn how to apply for a 2020 Census job 

United States 2020 Census website - all the information on this page came from their website. 

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