Results from a recent Pew Research Study (see the chart below)
Find more current data on the US Census from the Pew Research Center, from studies on the impact of the Hispanic population to college students and others "on the move."
American Library Association
Georgetown Center on Poverty and inequality (GCPI)
The following text is from page 5 of ALA's Guide to the 2020 Census. The United States Constitution requires a count every 10 years of every person who is residing in the U.S., regardless of immigration status or citizenship. The Census Bureau's goal for the 2020 Census is to "count everyone once, only once, and in the right place." Here are the basic steps in the process:
Step One - Update the address list
The Census Bureau maintains a list of every housing unit in the United States. A housing unit is a house, apartment, condominium, trailer, or other place where people might live. The Census bureau started updating its list for the 2020 Census in 2015, adding new houses and apartment buildings that have been built and removing houses and apartment buildings that were demolished or converted to non-residential uses since the 2010 Census.
Step 2 - Solicit responses
Beginning March 12, 2020, the Census Bureau will mail census materials to 95% of homes. Eighty percent (80%) of those homes will receive a letter inviting them to respond to the census online using a unique code. The other 20% (where internet access may be limited) will receive the same letter plus a paper questionnaire. All households also will receive information about how to answer the census by telephone. April 1 is Census Day, although most households will receive their materials before then and may respond prior to that date.
Step 3 - Collect responses
Respondents will submit one census form listing everyone who lives in their household. Respondents may complete the questionnaire for their household online, by using a paper questionnaire, or by phone (by calling Census Questionnaire Assistance, which will be available from mid-January to early September 2020). Some households without traditional mailing addresses will be counted by Census Bureau employees in person.
Step 4 - Follow up
Households will receive several reminder letters from the Census Bureau if they do not self-respond. The final mailed reminder will include a paper questionnaire. If a household does not complete the questionnaire after receiving mailed reminders, beginning in May 2020 they may receive a phone call or an in-person visit from a Census Bureau employee. Households can continue to self-respond online, using a paper questionnaire, or by phone during the follow up period.
Step 5 - Analyze and disseminate
The Census Bureau will release population totals and other publicly-available data beginning in early 2021.
This is an interactive version of the questionnaire, which includes a step-by-step guide to the process and an explanation of the reason behind each of the questions.
The Census Bureau will be hiring 500,000 temporary employees across the country to help carry out the 2020 Census count, including census takers, office staff, recruiting assistants, and supervisory staff.
To help your patrons who may be looking for work, ALA has published this guide: How Can My Library Increase Awareness of 2020 Census Training?
All jobs are listed at https://2020census.gov/en/jobs
New York Regional Office
Atlanta Regional Office
Chicago Regional Office
Denver Regional Office
Los Angeles Regional Office
Philadelphia Regional Office
The best look we have so far of what the online census will look like from the user end.
An accurate and complete count is essential to proper representation and funding. That being said, there risks and unknowns about the digital census. They include:
These risks are real, and are things librarians should be aware of as we establish policies and best practices on our sites.
Many people may have questions or concerns about the 2020 Census. As a trusted source of information in our communities, library staff are well-positioned to make sure people receive accurate information. Be wary of “fake news” that appears to drum up fear, opposition, or even apathy.
Librarians can also help members of their communities recognize and avoid spam and phishing attempts online that may try to collect personal information for nefarious purposes. Share safety tips from the Census Bureau where appropriate.
The Bureau has launched a dedicated web page to address rumors and false information and encourages partners to report anything suspicious to email@example.com.
The Census Bureau will not email or text people, and it will not ask for a bank or credit card number, Social Security Number, or payment or donation. If a person is unsure about the authenticity of someone purporting to be a Census Bureau employee, or if they suspect fraud, they can call the Regional Census Center for their state.
Note - there is no census app! The only option to respond to the Census is www.2020census.gov.
For more information, see: Avoiding 2020 Census Fraud and Scams
Georgetown Law’s Factsheet on Differential Privacy
Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality released a new Factsheet on Differential Privacy in the 2020 Census. As you may know, the Census Bureau is modernizing how it protects the confidentiality of census responses, and confidentiality protections for the 2020 Census relies on “differential privacy” (or “formal privacy”). Differential privacy allows the bureau to provide robust and measurable confidentiality protections against the evolving challenges presented by advances in computer science and the growing availability of personal information online and from commercial providers. Read more.
In this video, we see a demonstration of what the online form will look like as demonstrated by the Census Bureau at a meeting. Start at 1:55:00 to see the demonstration.