What is the 2020 Census?
Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau counts everyone living in the United States. In the U.S. Constitution, the 14th amendment states that every person should be counted, whether or not they are a citizen. Most importantly, the Census information helps make sure the government knows how many people live in different areas all across the country. It also affects the resources our communities get.
Why is the Census Important to Older Adults and to Illinois?
We’re Counting for Dollars!
The census is tied to Federal Funding for home delivered meals, roads, libraries, hospitals, other social services.
A Voice for Illinois!
Congressional and state legislative districts are tied to population counts in the census.
Planning for a Better Future for Illinois!
Counting everyone in Illinois is critical to driving business and investment in our state.
When does the Census start?
April 1, 2020 is Census Day. Invitations to complete the Census online will start being mailed in mid-March. In late March, people should be able to complete the 2020 Census online.
This handout includes a timeline of what will be coming in the mail.
People can respond online, via phone or by mail.
See also this list of important dates.
How and when will I be invited to take the Census?
- March 12-20: An invitation will be sent to respond online to the 2020 Census (Some households will also receive a paper questionnaire)
- March 16-24: A reminder letter will be sent
- March 26-April 3: A reminder postcard will be sent
- April 8-16: A reminder letter and paper questionnaire will be sent
- April 20-27: A final reminder postcard before the Census Bureau
What will the Census look like?
The Census will send out a letter invitation to participate in the Census online.
Here is a sample copy of the Census paper form. A sample of how the Census will look online has not yet been posted.
Why does the 2020 Census ask the questions it asks?
Responses to census questions provide a snapshot of the nation. Census results affect your voice in government, how much funding your community receives, and how your community plans for the future.
See this tip sheet that explains why the Census Bureau asks each question.
I am a faith community. Why should I be involved?
Census partners are vital to ensuring a complete and accurate count. As trusted advisors to Older Adults in your community, you play a key role in raising awareness that the 2020 Census is easy, safe, and important.
We encourage faith communities to be involved in Census Worship Weekend, March 27-29, which si the weekend before Census Day (April 1).
Different faith traditions may adapt the name of what they want to call this in accordance with their faith tradition.
Is the 2020 Census available in non-English languages?
The 2020 Census is available in English or 12 additional languages online or via phone.
The following 12 non-English languages are Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese.
Also language guides for 59 non-English languages (includes ASL, braille and large print).
Is the 2020 Census accessible?
The online version will have American Sign Language video
You can respond in English by TDD at 844-467-2020
Paper questionnaires are mailed by mid-April to people who have not yet responded.
Braille and large print guides are available online to help complete the paper questionnaire
See this handout for more information on accessibility of the 2020 Census.
Where can I find Census information for people with disabilities?
A fair and accurate decennial census is vital for people with disabilities—and, indeed, for every person in the United States. The Census Bureau, its partners, and other stakeholders can and must take steps to help ensure a fair and accurate count of people with disabilities in the 2020 Census.
The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
Census Related Videos
US Census Outreach Materials – Printable materials, some in multiple languages. Fact sheets to share with specific populations including, Older Adults, faith communities, group living residents, ethnic groups.
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