Making Democracy Work

Census 2020

Every 10 years, the US government counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. The count is required by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The results of the census determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. The census also provides critical data that lawmakers, businesses and many others use to provide funding, services, products, and support for you and your community.

What is the Census? (2 minute video)
What's the U.S. Census + Why's it so Important? (5 minute video)

What's new for 2020?

2020 will be the first year individuals will be able to respond online, by phone, as well as by mail.

  • Each household will receive a letter in the mail in March 2020 inviting them to complete the Census.

  • The invitation letter will include a 10 digit user ID to log in by phone or online.

  • Public Libraries will have computers available to complete the Census.

Find an Anoka County Library
Find a Hennepin County Library

  • The invitation letter will also include information on obtaining a paper census form. Some invitation letters will include a paper census form.

  • Households who do not complete the Census will be visited at home by a census worker.

Census 2020 Informational Videos

We Count Mn Census 101: Get Your Civics On! (6 minute video)

Census 102: Confidentiality in Our Bones (4 minute video)

Census Day is April 1, 2020! (1.5 minute video)

Why the Census Matters to College Students (3 minute video)


Amir Malek, Gretchen Sabel, Andrew Verdin, Kathy Tingelstad, Matt Brown LWV ABC Census 2020 Forum (63 minute video)
Panelists Andrew Verdin, Director of Census Operations at the Minnesota State Demographer's Office; Kathy Tingelstad, former Minnesota State Legislator; Matt Brown, Coon Rapids Economic Development Coordinator; and Amir Malik, Civil Rights Attorney discuss the 2020 Census.

What questions are on the Census?

Census 2020 does not have a question about citizenship.

Census questions about the household

  • Number of people living in Household
  • Type of housing - owned, rented
  • Telephone number

Census questions about each person
  • Name
  • Sex
  • Age and Date of Birth
  • Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
  • Race

Sample Census 2020 Paper Questionnaire

Why We Ask

Who does the census count?

Every person living in the United States including:

  • Babies
  • Children
  • Roommates
  • Citizens
  • Legal residents
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • Non-citizen long-term visitors
  • Renters
  • Home Owners
  • Homeless
  • Prisoners in jails and prisons
  • People in hospitals and nursing homes

More Information on who you should count on your census form

Why is it important for everyone to be counted?

  • Minnesota may lose a Congressional seat in the US Congress

Minnesota Could Be a Big Loser in 2020 (2 minute video)

  • For the next 10 years, Minnesota will lose federal funding of $2800 every year for each person not counted in the Census.

What is the Census information used for?

Fair Representation

  • Determines the number of seats Minnesota has in the US House of Representatives
  • Determines the legislative districts for the Minnesota Legislature
  • Determines the number of Electoral College votes for Minnesota

Federal Government funding in your community for:

  • Roads and transportation
  • Police and fire services
  • Medicare Part B
  • Medical Assistance Program
  • State Children's Health Insurance Program
  • Special education
  • Head Start
  • Adult Education
  • National school lunch program
  • College financial assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Foster care
  • Adoption Assistance
  • Child Care
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance
  • Senior Housing
  • Energy assistance
...and many more government programs

Types of Federal Funding Received in Minnesota (2016)

Counting For Dollars - Minnesota

Is my personal information confidential?

The US Census Bureau cannot share or publish your personal information for 72 years.

  • Only population totals and sub-totals (numbers) are released to the public and other government agencies.

  • Personal information (names of people in household, address, etc.) cannot be shared with other government agencies such as Homeland Security, the FBI, the police, Immigration or the Internal Revenue Service.

More Information on Census Confidentiality

2020 Census: Safety and Security Fact Sheet

Important Census 2020 Dates

The US Census Bureau will send each household:
  • March 12-20, 2019 - An invitation letter to respond online.
  • March 16-24, 2019 - A reminder letter.

If a household does not respond, The US Census Bureau will send:
  • March 26-April 3, 2019 - A reminder postcard.
  • April 8-16, 2019 - A reminder letter and paper questionnaire.
  • April 20-27, 2019 - A final reminder postcard.

If a household still does not respond:
  • June 2020 - July 2020 - Official US Census takers will go door to door to count people who have not responded to the 2020 Census.

After all households have responded, the Census Bureau will:
  • December 31, 2020 - report the population count and the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to the President of the United States.
  • 2021 - make initial 2020 Census data available to the public on census.gov.

More Information