Every 10 years the federal government counts each person living in the United States to provide information that informs political representation and government spending. Data from the census is used to:
- Determine federal, state and local political boundaries and number of political representatives
- Distribute federal funds
- Decide where to locate schools, roads, and health care facilities (OFM.WA)
Why every person counts
Accurate representation in the census affects access to health care, resources and representation in government. Census data is used to allocate funding for government services like Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps). Census data helps determine funding for public schools, translation needs and where non-English speaking voters can access voting ballots in other languages. It is critical that every person is counted in the 2020 census to ensure appropriate and fair distribution of resources and accurate representation, so all people and communities have the best opportunity to thrive and prosper together.
When: The Census will occur March through May 2020. It is conducted once every 10 years.
How do I complete the census: Online, by mail, by phone, or through an in-person interview. In May 2020, census workers will go door-to-door to households that did not self report data through online, mail or phone options.
What languages will be available: Online questions will be available in: Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese
Is it safe to respond to the census: Yes. Your information is private. There are Federal confidentiality laws prohibiting the use of census information for any purpose other than producing statistical datasets; it is a crime for census workers to publish or distribute responses that identify an individual or organization. (Washington Nonprofits)
Will there be a citizenship question on the census? No. The Trump Administration attempted to incorporate a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census, but in June 2019, the Supreme Court struck it down. There will not be a citizenship question on the 2020 census. (Countusin2020)
Learn more about Census 2020:
Office of Financial Management: 2020 Census: Everyone Counts
Asian Americans Advancing Justice: Count us In 2020 and Fact Sheet
Washington Nonprofits: Census FAQ
Pierce County: 2020 Census; You Count