The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census is conducted. It is one of the very few duties of the federal government that was spelled out by the Founding Fathers in 1787. Further legislation requires a census every 10 years.
The U.S. Constitution requires that the Census Bureau not just attempt to offer information or a service to the population , but that the Census Bureau actually reach and count every person living in the United States and its territories — of all ages, residence statuses, and locations — whether or not they desire to participate, and regardless of whether they are difficult to find, reach, and count.
The purpose of the 2020 Census is to conduct a census of population and housing and disseminate the results to the President, the states, and the American people. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.
For the first time, the 2020 Census will feature an internet self-response option, making it easier for anyone, anywhere to respond at any time.
When does it start?
The 2020 Census begins on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. This date is recognized as National Census Day in the United States.
How is Census data used?
- Census data determines the number of seats allocated to the states for the House of Representatives. This requirement is mandated in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 2 and the 14th Amendment, Section 2).
- Census data is used for defining representative boundaries for congressional districts, state legislative districts, school districts, and voting precincts.
- Census data is used to appropriate federal funds to local communities including Peoria, Arizona.
- Census information is used to calculate unemployment, crime, and poverty rates as well as health and educational data.
- Businesses of all sizes depend on census data to make decisions about where to locate, hire, and invest.
How can I help?
Residents of the United States can self-report their answers to the Census Bureau. This will reduce the number of people needed to canvass homes - and reduce government spending - later in the census process.