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The Census is fast, easy and important! 

Please take a few minutes to help your family and community. Every ten years, since 1790, the Census Bureau counts every adult and child living in the country to collect basic information, including: age, sex, and race.

Why is the Census important? 

The answers to the Census help determine where billions of dollars in federal money is spent. Your schools, your health care, your transportation, your representation, and your housing are ALL affected by YOUR response to the Census.

And, consider this: In the most recent year for which an estimate is available (2015), California received about $77 billion in Census-related federal money—more than 80% of the total federal funds the state received that year.


We're here to help! If you have questions for PPMM regarding the Census, you can email us at [email protected].

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers:

Email questions to PPMM
Is there a question about citizenship status?

Census 2020 will NOT ask about citizenship status or for information like a social security number.

Are my Census responses anonymous/confidential?

Yes, for 72 years after the information is collected. Under current federal law, the Census Bureau cannot share census responses identifying individuals with the public or other federal agencies, including immigration authorities and other law enforcement, until 72 years after the information is collected. The Census Bureau, however, can release anonymized census information about specific demographic groups at a level as detailed as a neighborhood.

When is the Census?

The timeline for self-response has been extended! Beginning March 2020 through October 31, 2020 everyone will be asked to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail.

Is there help in multiple languages?

Yes. Online and by phone you can choose to take the Census in these languages. To complete the Census by phone, please call the number beside the language you need: 

  • English - 844-330-2020
  • 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
  • Telephone Display Device (TDD)
Can I still be counted if I do not have access to the internet? 

Yes! You have the the option of completing your Census information by phone or mail.

Call 1-844-330-2020 to complete the Census by phone.

How long will it take to fill out the Census? Is it complicated?

It takes only a few minutes to complete the Census. It has short questions that are very easy to understand.

Does it matter if I use a pencil or pen to fill out a paper version of the Census?

If you are completing a paper questionnaire, use a pen with blue or black ink, or a #2 pencil.

What are my Census responses used for?

The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation—our population—where we're living, and so much more. The results are critically important because Census data help businesses, researchers, and policymakers all make decisions. The data could show, for example, that your community needs a new fire department, more funding for school lunches, or more services for single-parent families.

The U.S. Constitution requires that electoral districts be periodically adjusted or redrawn to account for population shifts. Each decade, the Census reveals where populations have risen or fallen. State legislatures or independent bipartisan commissions handle the process of actually redrawing district lines. The U.S. Census Bureau provides population counts to the states so that they can redistrict based on the population shifts.

Can I be penalized for not responding to the 2020 Census?

Technically, yes. However, since 1970 the agency has not prosecuted those who do not respond . According to US Code, if you're over 18 and refuse to answer all or part of the Census, you can be fined up to $100. If you give false answers, you're subject to a fine of up to $500.

I have a child who lives in US college housing, so do I include them in my household count?

No, they will be counted at their college residence, UNLESS they are studying abroad, in which case YES count them in your household count. 

Why is the Census important?

The Census gives us data about our community, it affects the distribution of billions of dollars in federal spending, and determines the number of elected decision-makers representing us.

I have a child in college who is currently studying abroad, do I include them in my household count?

YES, if your child or loved one is abroad during the 2020 Census they will not be counted unless you include them in your household count!

Can I refuse to answer/skip a Census question?

You can skip questions and submit an incomplete Census form and still be included in the head count. However, multiple incomplete questions may result in a follow-up phone call or visit from a Census worker.

When will Census results be released?

The Census Bureau is expected to announce the new population counts by Dec. 31, 2020. Census data used for state and local redistricting are set to be released by March 31, 2021. The Census Bureau is planning to release other new census data beginning in Spring 2021.

Se espera que la Oficina del Censo anuncie los nuevos recuentos de población antes del 31 de diciembre de 2020. Los datos del censo utilizados para la redistribución de distritos estatales y locales se publicarán antes del 31 de marzo de 2021. La Oficina del Censo planea publicar otros datos del censo nuevos a partir de la primavera de 2021.