The 2020 Census is more than a population count, it will provide a snapshot of our nation – who we are and where we live. It's an opportunity to shape the future as its results will impact communities for the next decade.
Counting our population and households will provide the basis for how many seats in Congress each state gets, and how billions of dollars in federal funding will flow into states and communities each year — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.
Counting an increasingly diverse and growing population is a massive undertaking. It requires years of planning and the support of thousands of people. The Census Bureau can’t do this without the help of local partners such as the City of Kentwood, businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, colleges, schools and the media. Ultimately, the success of the census depends on everyone’s participation. We’re committed to a complete and accurate count of all Kentwood residents. Remember: Everyone counts!
The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Once a decade since 1790, America comes together to count every resident in the United States, creating national awareness of the importance of the census and its valuable statistics. If you live in the U.S., you're required by law to participate in the 2020 Census. A complete and accurate count is critical. For more information, visit: 2020census.gov.
- Beginning in mid March, people will receive a notice in the mail to complete the 2020 Census.
- By April 1, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you can respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail.
- In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that haven’t responded to the census.
- The Bureau is expected to announce the new population counts by Dec. 31. For a complete timeline, click here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What's the census? The census is the official count of all people living in the U.S. It's been done once every 10 years since 1790.
- Why take the census? When you participate in the count, you help your community get federal funds for its schools, health care, roads and other vital services. For each person counted as part of the 2020 Census, about $18,000 will flow into our community over the next 10 years.
- What does the census ask? It asks for information you probably know off hand for each person in your household. Things like name, sex, age, birthday, race/ethnicity and each person's relationship to the person filling out the form. You can view the census questions here. The 2020 Census will not include questions about citizenship, social security numbers, bank information or donations.
- Who gets counted? Everybody! Children, adults, seniors - everyone counts. Learn more here.
- How do I participate? In March, every household will receive a mailed invitation to fill out the census form online, by phone or by mail. It's a short form that takes about 10 minutes to complete. You can find a detailed timeline here.
Is my census response safe and confidential? According to legal experts, the answer is YES, responding to the census is safe and confidential. Attorney Kelly Percival of New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, a recognized expert in census law, writes, “Federal law clearly prohibits the Census Bureau from disclosing census responses in a way that would personally identify a census respondent, including to other government agencies. Individual census responses cannot be used for any nonstatistical purpose like immigration regulation or other law enforcement. These clear, long-standing protections create a strong barrier against lawless attempts to misuse census data.”
FIND AN ASSISTANCE CENTER
Census Assistance Centers (CAC) are organizations or other locations that are providing space and/or access to a computer and internet for individuals to complete their 2020 Census questionnaire. Find a CAC
Spread the Word
The 2020 Census is more than a population count. It's an opportunity to shape the future of your community. Through your social media channels, your voice can make a difference. The U.S. Census Bureau has downloadable images and graphics including facts, how-to guides and more that you can use to encourage your friends and family members to participate in the 2020 Census.