WPL Census 2020 Support Center

Questions about the 2020 Census?

The Woodbridge Public Library is here to support your participation in the 2020 Census right here and in our libraries with information from the U.S. Census Bureau. And when you're ready to shape your future, visit your library and we'll help you get started with your online Census questionnaire!

In our online Support Center, we've compiled information from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2020census.gov website to help you get a handle on what the Census is, why it's so important, and how you can complete your Census questionnaire.

Each section includes links right to the same topics on the 2020census.gov website so you can keep learning straight at the source.

And we're not just helping online! Visit your local library for pamphlets and handouts from the U.S. Census Bureau. And when you're ready to complete your Census questionnaire just visit with your Census invitation and we'll make sure you get everything you need to submit your data.

Be seen. Be heard. Be counted.

What is the 2020 CENSUS?

Census ImageThe census is a count of every person who lives in the United States and its territories. It happens every 10 years. In early 2020, you will be asked to count everyone who lives in your home as of April 1. Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape your future.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). 2020 Census Community Benefits Toolkit. Retrieved from http://2020census.gov/partners

How does the 2020 CENSUS help me?

Think of your morning commute: Census results influence highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses, subways, and other public transit systems.

Or think of your local schools: Census results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program and for grants that support teachers and special education.

The list goes on, including programs to support rural areas, to restore wildlife, to prevent child abuse, to prepare for wildfires, and to provide housing assistance for older adults.

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Impact in Your Community. 2020 Census. https://2020census.gov/en/community-impact.html

What's in it for you?

U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). 2020 Census Community Benefits Toolkit. Retrieved from http://2020census.gov/partners

The Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy. The Census Bureau collects information through the decennial census, the American Community Survey, the economics census, and many other surveys.

Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. People in your community use Census Bureau data in all kinds of ways.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). 2020 Census Community Outreach Toolkit. Retrieved from http://2020census.gov/partners

Is the 2020 CENSUS safe?

Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. They cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way—not by the FBI, not by the CIA, not by the DHS, and not by ICE.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). 2020 Census Community Benefits Toolkit. Retrieved from http://2020census.gov/partners

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. In fact, every employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.

The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential.

Under Title 13, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures that your private data is protected and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). How the Census Bureau protects your data. 2020 Census. https://2020census.gov/en/data-protection.html

The real danger to you is from people impersonating the U.S. Census Bureau

Every Census year brings scams where people pretend to be Census representatives in order to trick others into giving up personal information. These scams especially target seniors. If you know someone who might be at risk, make sure you take the time to talk to them so they can protect themselves.

It is important to know that the Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation in the 2020 Census. Further, during the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your bank account or credit card numbers.
  • Money or donations.

In addition, the Census Bureau will not contact you on behalf of a political party.

If someone visits your home to collect a response for the 2020 Census, you can do the following to verify their identity:

  • First, check to make sure that they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
  • If you still have questions about their identity, you can call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Avoiding fraud and scams. 2020 Census. https://2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.html

How do I take the 2020 CENSUS?

April First is Census Day!

Census ImageBy April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.

In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census.

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Ways to respond. 2020 Census. https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond.html

What does the 2020 Census ask?

Surprisingly little! But it's enough to make a big difference.

The 2020 Census is easy. You will answer a simple questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is living with you on April 1, 2020.

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Questions asked. 2020 Census. https://2020census.gov/en/about-questions.html

The Census questionnaire asks a few general questions about your living arrangement, such as the type of home you're living in, whether you own or rent, and if you're living with relatives or non-relatives, children, etc, and then asks you to answer a short series of questions about each person living in your home (things like name, sex, age, race, and relation to you). Repeat that section once for each person, and you're done!

How do I know who to count?

If you are filling out the census for your home, you should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This includes any friends or family members who are living and sleeping there most of the time. If someone is staying in your home on April 1, and has no usual home elsewhere, you should count them in your response to the 2020 Census. Please also be sure to count roommates, young children, newborns, and anyone who is renting a space in your home. These people are often missed in the census. This means they can miss out on resources for themselves and their communities over the next 10 years.

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Who to count. 2020 Census. https://2020census.gov/en/who-to-count.html

Can my library help me complete my 2020 CENSUS questionnaire?

Of course we can!

The Woodbridge Public Library has public computers with internet access available at all locations, and during the 2020 Census we're making sure we have a computer available for anyone who needs one to submit their Census data!

We're even ready to help get you to your questionnaire! Just make sure you bring the Census invitation you receive in the mail with the unique code you need to access your online form, and we'll make sure you get to the right place.

Please note, however, that no one but you can complete your 2020 Census questionnaire. We're happy to set you up at a computer and offer a hand, but the library staff cannot enter the data into your questionnaire. Only you can do that!

"This Is Me": A Census Music Video

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists, from Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, to Hollywood Hills, to the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, lent their voices to perform a new rendition of "This Is Me."

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). "This Is Me": A Census Music Video. 2020 Census. https://2020census.gov/en/what-is-2020-census/focus/this-is-me.html

Be seen. Be heard. Be counted.