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The 2020 Census

The census is a headcount of everyone living in the United States. The Constitution requires that a census take place every 10 years — it’s a right for every person who resides in the U.S.

The 2020 census has big implications for sexual and reproductive health care. Pledge to get counted today!

Why should I complete the 2020 census?

Historically, many communities have been underrepresented in census data, including young children, families with low incomes, immigrants, people of color and people experiencing homelessness. If the census misses people, undercounted communities won’t get fair funding for critical programs, and officials won’t have the reliable information they need to make decisions. Unfortunately, some organizations are working to suppress certain demographics from participating in the census. Native, Black, Latino and immigrant communities that are already targeted by systemic discrimination have a much higher chance of being undercounted in the census. We can’t let this happen in 2020.

Why is it so important for ALL of our communities to be counted?

  • Money. The census determines how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal, state, and private sector money are spent on infrastructure, hospitals, public transportation, food stamp programs, child care programs, schools, and more — including a lot of different health care programs. 

  • Political power. Census data determines the number of congressional representatives each state gets.

  • Data. The 2020 Census will provide data that will impact communities for the next decade. 

So it’s really, really important that every person in every community be counted in the 2020 census. If not, over the next 10 years, we’ll miss out on jobs, money for our children’s classrooms, access to health care, and more. Our tax dollars should come back to us!

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If I fill out the census, is my information safe?

Short answer: yes. Your responses to the 2020 census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics — they can’t be used against you in any way. Learn more at www.census.gov/privacy.

The census will NOT ask you for your citizenship status, social security number, or financial information.

How do I complete an accurate census for my household?

In March of 2020, every home will receive an informational packet from the Census Bureau to complete the census questionnaire. This year you’ll be able to respond online, by phone, or by mail. Census assistance via the phone will be available in 13 languages and printed guides will be available for 59 more.

Everyone in your house as of April 1, 2020, should be counted — including infants, toddlers, young children, relatives, and roommates. 

When will I get the census, and what does it look like?

Alaskans should have received their census packet in the mail in early February. For everyone else, you should have received a packet in the mail in March. Your packet will include instructions on how to fill out the census online if you don’t want to mail it back.

You have until August 14th to complete the census.

What is Census Day?

Census Day is April 1st. This is not the deadline for finishing the census! This is the date where anyone who is at your address counts — for example, if you have a relative or a friend living in your household and they move out on April 2nd, you should still count them when you fill out the census.

How to participate?/ How to complete the census?

There are 3 ways to respond to the 2020 Census from the comfort of your home: 

  1. Online: visit 2020Census.gov or click HERE

  2. Over the phone: Call 844-330-2020 (see phone numbers for other language below)

  3. By mail: mail back the form you received in the mail

Who needs to complete it?

One person should respond for each home. That person should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This includes anyone — related or unrelated to you — who lives and sleeps at your home most of the time. That includes babies, young children, and anyone who is renting a space in your home. 

Remember the census counts everyone living in the United States, regardless of their immigration status or age. The goal of the census is to get a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the United States and its five territories. 

For more information about the census click here.

What is asked on the census?

It’s designed to be a simple questionnaire that each household completes to learn about who is living in the home by April 1, 2020. See a sample of the form and questions here

Questions include:

  • Number of people at address

  • Owner/renter

  • Phone number

  • Demographic information about people living in the home

    • Race

    • Sex

    • Date of Birth

Are your answers kept confidential?

Yes. The U.S. Census Bureau keeps your information confidential and cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business. In fact the law requires the U.S. Census Bureau to protect your answers. The answers you provide can only be to produce statistics. Learn more here.  

Why The Census Matters For Our Health Care

A fair and accurate 2020 census is essential to getting the funding we need for crucial sexual and reproductive health care services. Health care is a human right, but without access, it isn’t really a right at all. 

The census will determine things like a person’s eligibility to participate in a federal program and the funding levels for that program. Everyone deserves to be eligible for health care services, regardless of geographic location, age, race, gender, ethnicity, or immigration status. Without an accurate count of those things, crucial communities that are already often underserved by or even excluded from these programs, due to years of systemic racism, will continue to be left out.

FACT SHEET: Why The Census Matters for Reproductive Health

Examples of programs that rely on census data:

  • State Medicaid reimbursement levels

  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

  • Title X Family Planning Grants

  • Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grants

  • Social Services Block Grants

Text COUNT to 22422

The census counts. And so do you. Find out what you can do to help get your community counted. Text COUNT to 22422* to pledge to be counted and get other updates from Planned Parenthood organizations. 

*By texting 22422 from my cell phone number I agree to receive calls and texts to that number from Planned Parenthood organizations that may be automatically dialed or prerecorded on Planned Parenthood issues and other ways to get involved. Msg freq varies. STOP to quit. Msg & data rates may apply. Terms: ppaction.org/termsc3

Naleo Education Fund Toll-Free Hotline

If you have questions about the 2020 Census or what you need to do to be ready, NALEO Educational Fund can help. 

Community members can call NALEO Educational Fund’s toll-free national census bilingual hotline – 877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3676) – Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. ET to get additional information.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

(844) 2020-API or (844) 202-0274

The hotline will be available in English, Mandarin (普通話), Cantonese (廣東話), Korean (한국어), Vietnamese (tiếng Việt), Tagalog, Urdu  (اردو), Hindi (हिंदी), and Bengali/Bangla (বাংলা).

Arab American Institute

(833) 333-6864 or (833)-3DDOUNI ("Count me" in Arabic)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

(888)-COUNT20 or (888)-268-6820  

Census Questionnaire Assistance

You can call the Census Bureau and give your responses over the phone if you’re unsure if you’ve been counted. 

To give your responses over the phone, or to ask questions, call Census Questionnaire Assistance (CQA) at 844-330-2020 for assistance in English. 

The numbers for assistance in other languages are available here:

  • Spanish 844-468-2020

  • Chinese (Mandarin) 844-391-2020 

  • Chinese (Cantonese) 844-398-2020 

  • Vietnamese 844-461-2020 

  • Korean 844-392-2020 

  • Russian 844-417-2020 

  • Arabic 844-416-2020 

  • Tagalog 844-478-2020 

  • Polish 844-479-2020 

  • French 844-494-2020 

  • Haitian Creole 844-477-2020 

  • Portuguese 844-474-2020 

  • Japanese 844-460-2020 

  • English (Puerto Rico residents) 844-418-2020 

  • Spanish (Puerto Rico residents) 844-426-2020 

  • Telephone Display Device (TDD) 844-467-2020