Tips from California Census 2020

How to talk about the Census

What should every Californian know about the Census?

• The Census happens every ten years and counts everyone living in the United States, regardless of background or immigration status.

 • Everyone has the right and responsibility to participate in the Census.

• By law, all your answers are kept safe and confidential.

• The Census is a simple survey with nine questions.

• The Census will not include a question about citizenship status.

• The Census determines federal funding for important community services that help support our families and ensures fair representation of California.

What should I tell a person experiencing homelessness about the Census?

• If you don’t have a fixed address, you can and should still participate in the Census.

• If you’re staying at a shelter or a transitory location, the U.S. Census Bureau will ensure you’re counted.

• The Census Bureau is required to count everyone living in the United States, regardless of whether they have a permanent address.

• The information collected in the Census will inform local, state and federal resources, including affordable housing programs. By accurately counting everyone in the Census, we can ensure that these programs adequately serve those who need them most.

• If you are staying with friends or family, make sure you are counted at that address

• If you do not have a specified place you are staying, you can provide a city, state, or zip code where you will be living on April 1, 2020.Make sure to provide as much information as possible. Please see the examples below.

• A location description such as, “The apartment over the gas station” or “The brick house with the screened porch on the northeast corner of Farm Road and Highway 46”

• A name of a park, street intersection or shelter, if you will be experiencing homelessness on April 1, 2020, as well as the name of the city and state. For example: “Friendship Park, Anywhere, CA”.


What should I tell my Family and Friends about the Census?

• The Census will help decide how billions of dollars will reach our families. Your answers will help determine funding for dozens of programs that provide essential resources to Californians.

• The Census happens every ten years and counts everyone living in the United States, regardless of background or immigration status.

• It is important to count everyone who is living in your house, even if they are not family. It does not matter whether or not they are listed on your lease or rental agreement. By law, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot share your information with your landlord.

• Help is available in many languages through Questionnaire Assistance Centers and the many partners that are assisting communities.

• The Census will be available to complete online and by phone in 13 languages.

• Video and printed guides are available in 59 non-English languages, to assist individuals completing the form.

• The video and printed guides will also be available in braille and with large print.

• The paper form is available in English and Spanish to a limited number of addresses designated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

What should I tell a new parent/caregiver about the Census?

• If your child was born on or before April 1, 2020, they should be counted, even if they are still in the hospital.

• Our participation in the Census helps ensure our children will have access to supportive services they may need to grow healthy and strong.

• The Census helps improve school:

• Lunch programs

• After school programs

• Health services

What should I tell a college student about the Census?

• College students who live at home with their parents or guardians should be counted at that address.

• College students who are not living with their parents or guardians should be counted at the residence where they live for the majority of the year.

• For those living in an on-campus dormitory, the higher education institution will decide how to count the students.

• For those living off-campus, like an apartment with other students, you must self-respond by phone, mail or online and ensure your entire household is counted.

• International students living and attending college in the United States should be counted at their U.S. address.

• S. college students who are living and attending college outside the United States are not counted in the Census.

• The Census will have a big impact on students, from kindergarten to college.

• The Census will inform funding for grants and scholarships.