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2020 Census: We Count!

April 1, 2020 is Census Day! Every ten years, every person living in the United States is counted in the Census.

What is the census? 

The census is a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every 10 years. It is required by the Constitution and it is critically important to communities because census data is used to determine things like representation in Congress to allocation of federal and state funds. More than $675 billion will be distributed each year for schools, roads, hospitals, senior centers and other public services, all based on Census data. 

Why is the census important? 

Census data helps shape the future of our community and how our voice is defined in Congress. Information learned through the census determines how funds are distributed to states, counties and communities. Our community benefits the most when the census counts everyone!

You are welcome here at the library!

The census is important for representation, information and funding of our area. The Joliet Public Library staff will provide assistance to those who need help with the online questionnaire, as well as access to technology. 

What questions does the census ask?

The census asks how many people are living or staying in your household, and whether the home is owned or rented. Questions are also asked about age, race, ethnic identity and relationships of people living at your address. A sample copy of the census questionnaire can be found here.

How long will it take to complete? 

You can fill out the census in about 10 minutes. 

What if I don’t respond or skip questions?

Everyone living in the United States is required to be counted as part of the Census. The Census Bureau will send you a reminder letter if you haven’t responded by April 1, 2020. If you do not respond then, you’ll receive a paper questionnaire you can mail back. If you don’t respond to the paper questionnaire, you’ll receive a visit from a census worker. 

You can skip questions, submit an incomplete census form and still be included in the head count. Returning a partially filled-out questionnaire may result in a follow-up phone call or visit from a census worker.

Will I be asked about my citizenship or immigration status?

No. The 2020 Census will not include a question about citizenship. It is important that you complete the census regardless of your immigration status. Everyone deserves to be counted, and your information will be kept confidential.

How can I respond to the census? 

You can respond to the Census online, by phone or by mail. The online and phone questionnaire will be available in 13 languages. Check out the video below to see a preview of the 2020 Census Language Guide.


The paper copy will be available only in English and Spanish. 

Households can start responding online and by phone March 12. You have until September 30 to self-respond online, by phone or by email.

Is my Census data safe?

Yes. Federal law protects your Census answers. Information you submit through the Census form (either online, over the phone or on paper) is kept confidential by the U.S. Census Bureau, which is a nonpartisan government agency. The Census Bureau will never share information with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies. 

Please also know that the Census Bureau will never ask you for:

Your Social Security number

Money or donations

Anything on behalf of a political party

Your bank or credit card account numbers





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