The coronavirus has not stopped the 2020 Census
Responding to the 2020 Census is easy, safe, and important. From the comfort of your home, you can choose to respond online, by phone (including TDD), or by mail (if you received a mailing). Language support is available in 59 different languages. You do not need your invitation or code to respond.
Invitations went out in mid-March, and households across the U.S. have been responding to the questionnaire. Especially in these uncertain times, it is important for everyone to complete the census. The data gathered is used to determine what share of billions of dollars in federal funding will come to your community, including funding for nonprofits. The census also dictates the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Through relentless advocacy efforts of numerous nonprofit groups in 2019, the citizenship question is not a part of this census. All residents of the United States count, regardless of their immigration status.
When responding to the census, we are to indicate where we live — and with whom — on Census Day, April 1, 2020. Every home should have received the invitation to respond by now, and census takers will begin following up with those who have yet to turn in their information.
Like the rest of the country, the Census Bureau has taken steps to protect the health and safety of its employees and the American public while ensuring a timely, complete, and accurate population count. Please click here for updates on efforts to count people experiencing homelessness, living in group quarters, and at transitory locations.
As a reminder, federal law requires that individual data or personal responses collected by the Census Bureau be kept confidential for 72 years. That means the Census Bureau cannot share your personal information with other government agencies or anyone else until 2092, and your responses will not affect any public benefits you receive.
Although the coronavirus has upended all of our lives, nonprofits need to continue to prioritize communicating about the census and support our community members in responding to it. Read our past blog posts and video posts about how nonprofits can play a role in census advocacy.
For resources and inspiration to get the message out, here are some places to start:
- See how Advancement Project California is leading the census count in Los Angeles and California.
- Check out the resources the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law has for questions on the census.
- Check out the National LGBTQ Taskforce’s digital census toolbox.
- Search social media for #CensusChallenge. (501(c)(3)s should make sure not to share any content promoting candidates for office who may be using the same hashtag.)
- Share Cardi B’s census video.
- Check out WE COUNT! A 2020 Census Counting Book. The e-book is available in Spanish, Bengali, Arabic, Farsi, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Punjabi, and more.