What is the Census and why is it important to my community?

Once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. The next enumeration (count) will begin April 1, 2020, and will be the first to rely heavily on online responses. An accurate count is one in which every person is counted once, only once, and in the right place. The Census counts every resident — whether or not they have a place to live, whether or not they are a citizen, whether or not they are in the U.S. legally, whatever age they are, and so forth.

The number of people counted in California determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used in formulas that distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to California.

It is estimated for that every person who is counted in California, our state will receive $2,300 in federal funding — money that goes to health clinics, HeadStart, road maintenance, food stamps, and local schools.

All this is why California has launched a statewide effort to obtain an accurate and complete count of Californians in the 2020 Census.

The California Complete Count — Census 2020 Office (California Census Office) is coordinating the State's outreach and communication strategy, which focuses on the hardest-to-count residents. Working through local governments, Tribal Governments, community-based organizations and media, the state is funding work that will complement work being done nationally by the U.S. Census Bureau.