Census 2020: What You Need to Know

Census 2020 is quickly approaching, and it is so very important that everyone be counted! Your responses will shape the future of the Plainfield community for years to come. Below you’ll find answers to the questions you may be asking.


Census 2020

What is the census?

The census is a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every 10 years and is required by the Constitution.

Census 2020

When is the deadline?

The deadline for self-reporting is August 2020, but you will receive several reminder mailings before this time if you haven’t completed the census.

Census 2020

Who is counted in the census?

It is imperative that every person residing in the United States is counted, regardless of citizenship status and including children.  Our community benefits the most when the census counts everyone.

Census 2020

How and where can I complete the census?

Near the end of March, most people will receive a letter with info to take the survey online. You can complete the census from your home computer or device. The Library will also have a designated station that you are welcome to use starting in March.

Census 2020

Is the census required for everyone?

Everyone living in the United States is required to be counted as part of the census, and because the data is so important, the Census Bureau will send you a reminder letter if you haven’t responded by April 2020. If you do not respond then, you’ll receive a paper questionnaire you can mail back. If you don’t respond to the paper questionnaire, you’ll receive a visit from a census worker.

Census 2020

What questions does the census ask?

The census asks how many people are in your household and whether the home is owned or rented. You’ll be asked to count the number of people, including babies and people who may not have a permanent address, who are living or staying in your home. You’ll be asked about age, race or ethnic identity, and relationships of people living at your address with you. See sample census questionnaire and preview video.

Census 2020

Why is the 2020 Census important?

The 2020 Census will determine the annual distribution of more than $675 billion in funds for state and local agencies for essential services that affect everyone. School lunch programs, Medicaid, food assistance and affordable housing funding could be at risk if there is not a complete count.  More than $1 billion in federal funding for libraries will be allocated to states based on the 2020 Census. The results of the census are also used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. 

Census 2020

Are the questions I answer confidential?

Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any way.  The Census Bureau will never share information with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies. Check out these tips from the Census Bureau to avoid fraud and scams. Please also know that the Census Bureau will never ask you for:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Money or donations
  • Anything on behalf of a political party
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers