BE COUNTED online, or by phone or mail
- Be Constitutional: The first Census happened in 1790 and has happened every 10 years since. The Constitution mandates it.
- Be Represented Fairly: When you are counted in your community, those results are used to reapportion the seats in U.S. House of Representatives.
- Be Part of the Solution: $675 billion in federal funding for libraries, schools, hospitals, roads, and other public works is distributed based on the Census.
- Be Protected: It is against the law for the Census Bureau to share your answers with any other government agency.
- March 12 – 20: Households begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond online, by phone, or by mail.
- March 30 – April 1: The Census Bureau counts people who are experiencing homelessness.
- April 1: Census Day. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, respond for your home online, by phone, or by mail.
- April: Census takers begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people.
- May – July: Census takers begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
- July 31: Last day to respond online, by phone, or by mail.
- December: The Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.
HCLS Upcoming Information Sessions
How long will it take? The Census form should take about 10 minutes to complete, depending on the number of people in the household.
Can people respond if they misplaced or never received their unique ID? Yes, people can respond online or by phone using an option called Non-ID Response, which allows them to complete their Census forms without the unique ID, as long as they provide a valid home address.
Do I have to participate online? No. Households have the option to respond online, by phone, or by mail.
In what languages will the online form be available? The online form will be available in 13 languages (Arabic, Chinese [Simplified], English, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese).
In what languages will the paper form be available? Paper forms will be available in English and bilingual English-Spanish.
What if I need some other language? The Census Bureau will provide language guides in 59 non-English languages.
Can Census responses by shared with law enforcement or other government agencies? No, Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information provided in Census responses. Federal law prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing personally identifiable information with other government agencies.
What should people do if they have a question or a problem? People can call Census Questionnaire Assistance toll-free at 800-923-8282 for answers to questions or to provide their household responses by phone.
Why is taking the Census important?
Taking the Census is important because the data obtained is used to:
- Determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College. In other words, the results determine how many seats in Congress Maryland gets.
- Redistrict boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts;
- Make decisions about how and where to spend billions of dollars in federal money, each year, for programs and services that communities rely on including but not limited to:
– Infrastructure such as roads
– Neighborhood revitalization
– Public safety/emergency preparedness
– Economic development
- It’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.