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About the 2020 Census

What is the Census? 
The U.S. Census is mandated by the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determines:

  • The number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • How the federal government will allocate more than $675 billion in federal funds each year to local communities.
  • Population tabulations necessary for legislative redistricting.

How is the Census Conducted? 
Census 2020 is expected to count around 330 million people.

Although Census Day is officially observed on April 1, 2020, the Census Bureau has developed an internet self-response survey, which will be available on March 23, 2020.

The Bureau hopes that as much as 60% of the population will use this online option. Households that don’t use the internet will be mailed a survey. The Census Bureau will follow-up with nonresponsive households beginning in May 2020. For a complete timeline, click here.

Pierce County Complete Count Committee
The US Census Bureau hires and trains thousands of temporary workers to assist with survey collection. However, the Bureau relies heavily on local communities to form “Complete Count Committees” that will reach out to residents who are traditionally “hard to count.” Complete Count Committees work with local organizations and media to educate the public about Census 2020, encourage participation, and facilitate survey access.

Pierce County has formed a Complete Count Committee, organized by the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and the Pierce County Auditor’s Office. If you have a question or idea for our Pierce County group, please let us know.

What is Counted?
Planned questions for the 2020 Census are approved by Congress and include age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, relationship, homeownership status, and (perhaps) citizenship status.

What’s in it for You? 
The Census will determine how much funding your community receives, and how your community plans for the future. When you fill out the Census, you help:

  • Determine how many seats your state gets in Congress.
  • Guide how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
  • Create jobs, provide housing, prepare for emergencies, and build schools, roads and hospitals.
Pierce County - Hard to Count

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) was asked to review the Census Bureau’s plans for enumerating hard-to-count groups in the 2020 Census. This 2018 report outlines how the Bureau intends to improve its count of minorities, renters, and young children, as well as the barriers facing the Bureau.

Explore the interactive Mapping Hard to Count (HTC) Communities for a Fair and Accurate 2020 Census tool.

Hard to Count Map

(Click to Enlarge)