Is it safe and confidential?
Yes. Strict federal law protects your census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual. No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding your community receives. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly
and keep respondents’ information private. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.
What information is requested?
The census will collect basic information about the people living in your household. When completing the census, you should count everyone who is living in your household on April 1, 2020.
What information is NOT requested?
The Census Bureau will never ask for:
• Social Security numbers
• Bank or credit card account numbers
• Money or donations
• Anything on behalf of a political party
Why is it important?
Responding to the census is not only your civic duty; it also affects the amount of funding your community receives, how your community plans for the future, and your representation in government. Specifically, data from the 2020 Census are used to:
• Ensure public services and funding for schools, hospitals, and fire departments.
• Plan new homes and businesses and improve neighborhoods.
• Determine how many seats your state is allocated in the House of Representatives.
How can I respond?
For the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online, but you can still respond by phone or mail if you prefer. It should take less than 10 minutes.
When do I respond?
Beginning in mid- March, people started receiving notices in the mail to complete the 2020 Census. Once you receive yours, you can respond online. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in-person with households that haven’t responded to the census.