The Census Bureau begins mailing out Census 2020 instructions in mid-March. The forms (online first, paper later on) include a series of simple questions that connect to three general categories:

The number of people living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020, and how they are related to each other.

Whether you rent or own your home.

The name, sex, age, date of birth, race, and ethnicity of each person in your home.

The questions will NOT ask for a SS#, money or donations, political party affiliations, or bank/credit card #s. If anyone requests this type of information, this is a scam: visit Avoiding Fraud and Scams .

Questions about the number of home inhabitants allow the Census Bureau to create estimates about families and households. Relationship data is used in planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone, and the elderly.

Questions about renting or home ownership help determine the health of the nation’s economy, and help administer housing programs and inform planning decisions.

Questions about the name, sex, age, race, and origin of each person in a household creates statistics to better understand the size and characteristics of different gender, age, racial, or ethnic groups. Agencies use this data to plan and fund government programs, and monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

Governments, businesses, communities, and nonprofits all rely on the data that these questions produce to make critical decisions about funding allocations. These questions also help social justice efforts, as they are used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination.

This content was adapted from Census 2020: Questions asked .

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