About the Census

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. It occurs every 10 years during years that end in zero (e.g., 2000, 2010, 2020).

The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail.

The Census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. The results are used to determine how much funding local communities receive for key public services. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

The results of the Census determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.