What Is the Census?
Every 10 years, the census counts every person living in the United States with a survey. The data from this survey is used to determine how much money your community will receive over the next ten years for important programs that affect healthcare, education, senior services, and more. The goal is to count EVERYONE, regardless of age, race/ethnicity, or citizenship status. The census form consists of ten simple questions and will not ask you about private information such as your social security number, immigration status, or employment status, so it’s easy and secure to fill it out. Additionally, your responses are protected by federal law and cannot be used against you by any government agency for any reason.
Why Is the Census Important?
The census is critical for our communities because census data is used to determine how much federal funding we will receive for important community programs and services over the next ten years. Education, healthcare, Head Starts, housing, roads, emergency programs, and social safety net programs all receive funding according to census data. More people counted in the census means more money for our communities in the form of programs such as Nutrition Assistance Program, WIC, Medi-Cal, and many more.
The census is especially important for Los Angeles County because we are the hardest-to-count county in the entire United States. That’s why it’s important that we ensure everyone is counted, including non-residents, seniors, children ages 0-5, and other hard-to-count groups!
When Does the Census Happen?
|March 2020||Surveys are mailed out asking households to respond to the census. Reminder letters will be sent out towards the end of the month.|
|April 1, 2020||Census Day|
|April 2020||Reminder postcards will be mailed to households who haven’t responded.|
|May 2020||Census takers will visit households that have not responded.|
Avoiding Census Frauds and Scams
As census day approaches, it’s important to take precautions to avoid frauds and scams from criminals trying to get your personal information.
Remember, the Census Bureau will never ask you to provide:
- Your social security number
- Your immigration status
- Your bank account or credit card numbers
- Money or donations
- Support for any political party
Additionally, if someone visits your home to collect a response for the 2020 Census, you can verify their identity by making sure that they have a valid ID badge with
- Their photograph
- A U.S. Department of Commerce watermark
- An expiration date
To read more about how to protect yourself from census frauds and scams, please view the U.S. Census Bureau's tips on avoiding fraudulent activities and scams and guidelines on how to verify a Census Bureau survey, mailing, or contact.
For more information on the census, please check out the following resources:
Census Information Flyers
Census 101 Video (Courtesy of NALEO)
"What Is the 2020 Census?" Video - U.S. Census Bureau