What to Expect
March 12 - 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.
March 30 - April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
April 1: Census Day is observed. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
May - July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven't responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.
Completing the Census
Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau.
The 2020 Census will be available online, by phone, and by mail.
Online and phone responses can be completed in 13 languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese).
A paper form will be mailed to every house that hasn’t responded already when we send our fourth mail piece out.
The CENSUS counts every resident, including: citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors and undocumented immigrants.
Confidentiality and Privacy
During the 2020 Census, 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.
The law prevents the Census Bureau from sharing your information with law enforcement. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to protect your personal information and keep it strictly confidential.
Your answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for government benefits.
Your answers are only used to create statistics about our country.
The Census is used to determine whether communities get enough funding for everything from housing to schools to roads to natural disaster recovery funds to small business grants.
When you respond to the Census, you help your community get its fair share of the more than $800 billion per year in federal funds!
Official Census Websites
Toolkits / Materials / Videos
- CPCA Census Website -#MyHealthCounts
- PSA Toolkit (via Census.gov)
- Outreach Materials
- The California Endowment (TCE)
- AltaMed Health Services Materials
Native American Communities
Black / African American Communities
- My Black Counts
- Our Count 2020
- The California Black Census & Redistricting Hub
- Mapping Black California
Southeast Asian American (SEAA) Communities
Counting People Experiencing Homeless
People who are living in emergency and transitional shelters that provide sleeping facilities for people experiencing homelessness should be counted at the shelter.
Counting Young Children
It is important to remember to count any children who are living with you.