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Census 2020 Information

An accurate census count is the key to keeping small communities connected.

The US constitution dictates that an accurate count is taken of the population. This count is the leading source of valuable information about population size, growth, and shows detailed portraits of our changing communities.

Every living person in the US is counted only once. When you answer the census, make sure to count every person living or staying in your home and respond to the address where you were living or staying on April 1, 2020.

95% of households in the United States will receive their invitations by mail. These invitations will ask you to go online to answer the questionnaire. The invitations will be staggered to decrease web traffic. However, 14.8% people in the Commonwealth are without Internet access, so you can also respond by mail or by phone. Areas that do not have adequate Internet access will receive a paper questionnaire as well. Online security for the census is top of the line, and all data is encrypted. Once your information is received, it is taken offline.

Under Title 13 of the US Code, federal law protects your responses. The census bureau can’t release identifiable information about individuals, households, or businesses, even to immigration, law enforcement, or departments related to government benefits. This includes DHS, ICE, FBI, and the CIA.

Your census information can never be shared with law enforcement agencies, your property manager, or your landlord. All census staff take lifetime oaths to protect your personal information, and violations come with a penalty of up to $250,000.00 and/or up to 5 years in prison. In 1982, the US Supreme Court decided that addressees can’t be disclosed through the Freedom of Information Act. In 2010, the US Justice Department determined that even the Patriot Act can’t override the confidentiality of census information.

Census partners will never ask you for the following information:

-Social Security Number

-Bank or Credit Card Numbers

-Money or Donations

-Anything on Behalf of a Political Party

Responding to the census is the civic duty of everyone living in the United States. At the end of 2020, the results are given to the President of the United States; redistricting counts to states go out on March 31, 2021. After each census, state officials use the results to redraw the boundaries of their congressional and state legislative districts. In effect, the census affects decision-making at all levels of government. Answering the census ensures fair representation for communities.


The census is a key factor in determining how 675 billion in federal funding is distributed, both for communities AND for individuals.


In FY2016, VA got over 17 billion dollars from federal spending programs, and this was guided by the 2010 census. This money included direct payments to individuals, grants, loans, and tax credit programs. Federal contract dollars were awarded to small businesses, and this money attracted new businesses as well. Census information also determines rural payment assistance. Businesses use census data to provide local jobs and places to shop, where to build factories, distribution centers, offices, and stores, and this data is key for planning investments.

The census determines funding for community public resources like bridges, highway planning and construction, hospitals, and schools. Also included is public safety and emergency preparedness. Census information helps in creating maps to speed up emergency services, direct funds for those living in poverty and health services, establishes fair rents and enforces fair lending. The census determines grants for rural areas in community development, water and waste disposal, and adult education.

34.2% of people in the Commonwealth rent their home. If you currently rent your home, the Census Bureau still needs your participation.

If you choose not to reply, the following timetable will apply to you:

March 12-20, 2020 Invitation to respond to the census arrives
March 16-24, 2020 Reminder letter is sent
March 26-April 3, 2020 Reminder letter is sent
April 8-16, 2020 Reminder letter is sent, along with a paper questionnaire
April 20-27, 2020 Final reminder letter is sent
After April 27, 2020 In-person follow up


There are temporary census jobs available!

Motivate people to respond, earn extra income, and partner with community leaders. You must be 18 years old, have a valid social security number, and be US citizen to be eligible.

Duties of partners include sharing information on social media about once per month. You will be provided forms tailored to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, and images are suggested as well!

Apply at 2020CENSUS.GOV/JOBS

For more information or help applying, please call


More information is available at www.census.gov

Interesting Facts!

The US Constitution requires a census every 10 years.

The first census was in 1790

Aerial imagery and in-field work is done to identify new homes and buildings.

Census data is used by the CDC to assess the potential for the spread of disease.

Census data is used in genealogical research

Census records are only able to be released after 72 years, as per title 44 of the US code

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