Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation gets just one chance each decade to count its population. Let’s make this year count! The U.S. census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years.
The data collected by the census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment) and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.
When will the 2020 census start?
Census day is April 1, 2020. Data collection begins in March 2020 and continues through August 2020. Households will receive a postcard with instructions for completing the census beginning in March 2020.
Who should respond to the census?
Everyone! Census postcards are sent to all households in the U.S. to collect information about each person living in the household. The Census Bureau is conducting special counts for populations living in group quarters or who are unsheltered. These include: Homeless populations, university students, prison populations and other people living in institutional settings. For more on counting college students, see below.
How can people complete the census?
The Census Bureau is collecting census forms in four ways:
Census forms are available in 13 languages.
What questions will be answered?
There are 10 questions that take about 10 minutes per person to complete.
The Census Bureau is adjusting operations to make sure college students are counted. Read the March 15, 2020 guidance here.
Where students should be counted depends on where they are living on Census Day, April 1, 2020.
Collecting data on group quarters residents
Students living in group quarters do not complete census forms; rather, the administrators of a facility submit census forms for the facility.
For additional resources, visit Colorado Census 2020.
For questions about higher education and the 2020 census, contact Megan McDermott, 303-974-2495.