2020 Census

The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States every 10 years.

Population map of the United States for the 2020 census

The 2020 decennial census is now in progress and the Census has sent requests throughout the United States to complete the census online.  Though responses have been requested by April 1, 2020, the ability of the Census Bureau to conduct this census has been affected by the pandemic and various quarantines. As a result, the deadline for responses from individual households has been extended to August 14, 2020.

According to Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the original purpose of the decennial census was to determine representation by the states in the House of Representatives. In 1954, The census requirement and related penalties were codified in 1954 (see Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Under Title 13).  In addition to determining representation in the House of Representatives, the Census Bureau also collects information for the allocation of federal program funding.

For the 2020 decennial census, there are twelve questions.  In addition to the number of members of a household on April 1, the household census form asks:

  • Whether the household is a house, apartment or mobile home;
  • Whether anyone other than those counted in the household is staying in the household on April 1, and how many;
  • A telephone number for follow-up;
  • The name, sex, age and date of birth of each member of the household;
  • Whether a member of the household is Hispanic, Latino or of Spanish origin;
  • The race and national origin of each member of the household as selected from the following categories: White; Black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Chinese; Filipino; Asian Indian; Vietnamese; Korean; Japanese; other Asian; Native Hawaiian; Samoan; Chamorro; other Pacific Islander; some other race;
  • Whether each person usually lives or stays somewhere else and an explanation (College? Military assignment? Seasonal or second residence?); and
  • Relationship of each member of the household to the original reporting person (opposite-sex husband/wife/spouse; opposite-sex unmarried partner; same-sex husband/wife/spouse; same-sex unmarried partner; biological son or daughter; adopted son or daughter; stepson or stepdaughter; brother or sister; father or mother; grandchild; parent-in-law; son-in-law or daughter-in-law; other relative; roommate or housemate; foster child; other non relative).


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