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Census 2020 - What do you need to know?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Census 2020 – What do you need to know?

Every ten years, the United States conducts a census to count every person living in America. The 2020 Census is coming up fast—in fact, Alaska is starting its count later this month! The census is important because its data is used to determine how many seats each state will receive in Congress, and it guides the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds to community schools, hospitals, and other programs. The census provides crucial information that will help shape the future of communities across the nation.

It is super important, therefore, that the census is fair and accurate—everyone should be counted! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, however, people with disabilities are classified as a "hard-to-count population.” Unfortunately, this means that individuals with disabilities are at a greater risk of being undercounted in this year’s census.

So, what do you need to know to make sure that you and your loved ones are counted this year?

First, you should know that the 2020 Census will be accessible for everyone! Most households will be invited to participate in the census using an online form. However, there are other options as well. You can complete the 2020 Census in the following ways:


The online form should meet all the latest web accessibility guidelines, meaning individuals will be able to go through census materials online without a mouse and by using assistive technologies. There will also be a video guide in American Sign Language available.


Laptop by Tomi Triyana from the Noun ProjectPhone:

There will also be an option to self-respond to the census by phone in English and 12 additional languages. Additionally, you will also be able to respond using Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD/TTY) technology. 



 The Census Bureau will provide Braille and large print guides to assist individuals who would like to fill out paper questionnaires. These guides will be available on the Census Bureau’s website and will also be distributed at many partner events, conferences, and meetings.

Additionally, if you live in a health care facility or another group living situation, you will be counted as part of the Group Quarters Operation. If you would like to know more about this, there are several great fact sheets available at this website:


The count will officially start on January 21, 2020 in Alaska. Other parts of the nation will begin to receive instruction letters in the middle of March. If people do not respond to the census by the end of April, someone will follow up with them in-person between May-July.

Together, we can make sure that everyone is counted during this year’s census.

To learn more about the 2020 Census, check out the following resources: 


Accessible Census Factsheet

Fact Sheet on Census Accessibility