How It Works
It is important for every District resident to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census—this includes people of all ages and races, as well as citizens and non-citizens.
- January 21, 2020 – The 2020 U.S. Census count begins in Alaska.
- March 2020 – Letters will be sent to most households. These letters include instructions on how to participate in the 2020 US Census.
- April 1, 2020 – Census Day! By this date, your household should have received an invitation to take the 2020 US Census online or by phone. By April 15, you will have the option to respond by mail.
- May 2020 – If you haven’t taken the 2020 U.S. Census, Census Bureau employees will follow up in person to ensure that your household fills out the census.
- December 2020 – The Census Bureau delivers the final count to the president. This data is used to divide seats in Congress according to the population of all 50 states.
The census by phone or online allows for responses in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian, Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. There are also video and printed guides available in 59 languages.
Your personally identifiable information is protected by law and cannot be shared outside of the Census Bureau.
Why It Matters
On a local level, census data:
- The federal government distributes over three billion dollars annually to the District to support vital programs based on census data.
- Census data is used to update Ward and ANC boundaries to reflect population growth and movement across the District.
- District agencies rely on accurate census data for budgeting, planning and policy decision making across the city.
- Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.
- Businesses use census data to decide where to build offices and stores-creating jobs for the community.