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Counting everyone in the 2020 Census

The Census is for everyone. Here are a few ways the Census Bureau will count us.

The Census is for everyone

The Census asks nine questions about how many people are living or staying in your household, and their age, race, sex, and ethnicity. 

Anyone can answer online, by phone, or by mail. Do the Census now.  

The 2020 Census is for everyone—even if you don’t have an address, are away from home at college, or live in a group home. Here are a few ways the Census Bureau will count us. 

People experiencing homelessness

People who don’t have an address can still do the 2020 Census. 

The online 2020 Census form asks if you are experiencing homelessness. You can say where you live, like at an intersection or in a park, even if it is not an exact address.

The Census Bureau will also count people in-person who are at a shelter, soup kitchen or other location. Census workers will count people in-person over a three-day period in the fall of 2020.

Immigrants and non-citizens

Everyone who is living in the United States on April 1, 2020 counts in the census. You do not have to be a citizen or have legal status to do the census. It doesn’t matter where you were born or whether you have legal documents. Everyone counts in the census.

The only people who are not counted are citizens of other countries who are visiting the U.S. on vacation.

College students

College students who live at their parents’ house while attending school in the U.S. should be listed on their parents’ census form. 

College students who live away from their parents or guardians should do the census themselves, at the address where they usually live. For example, their dorm, apartment, or house. 

Even if they were staying somewhere different on April 1, 2020 due to COVID-19, college students should do the census where they usually live throughout the year. 

People who live in assisted living facilities or group homes

People who are in nursing homes, in-patient facilities, group homes, long-term care, etc. should still fill out the census. The Census Bureau may work with the facility staff to count the people living there. But it is still a good idea to do the census yourself. Any double counting will be removed by the Census Bureau.

People who are incarcerated

People who are in federal or state prison on April 1, 2020 are counted by the facility. People who are in local jails on April 1, 2020 are also counted by the facility. The Census Bureau works with the jail or prison staff to count the people there.

Children in shared/joint custody

Children who split time between two homes should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. If they spend equal time at both places, they should be counted where they stay on April 1, 2020.

People living outside of the U.S.

People who usually live in the U.S., but are out of the country on April 1, 2020, should do the census where they usually live. People who live outside of the U.S. and are not part of the military or U.S. government are not counted in the U.S. Census.

People born on or before April 1, 2020

Babies born on or before April 1, 2020 should be counted at the place where they will live and sleep. Babies born after April 1, 2020 should not be counted in the 2020 Census.

People who die on or after April 1, 2020

People who die before April 1,  2020 should not be counted in the 2020 Census. People who die on or after April 1st should be counted where they usually lived.

Do the Census

Count yourself in today. Visit my2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020 to get started. 

Need help? Find a Census Help Center in San Francisco that speaks your language. 

Last updated August 03, 2020