FAQs

  • What is the 2020 Census?
    • The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.  The United States has counted its population every 10 years since the first census in 1790.
    • The 2020 Census will be the first year you can fill out your census online. The census website is safe, secure and confidential.
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  • Why is this count conducted?
    • The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community.
    • The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
    • It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

     

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  • What does that mean for Georgia?
    • The federal government distributes over $675 billion dollars to states based on the population for healthcare, food, education, and roads. Key programs using census data to drive funding are:
      • Federal Medical Assistance Programs (FMAP)
      • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
      • Medicare Part B
      • Highway Planning and Construction
      • The Federal Pell Grant Program
    • Georgia’s rural assistance programs received more than $1.4 billion annually in the federal FY 2016.
    • Georgia gained a congressional seat in the 2010 Census thanks to the Census counting our growing population.
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  • What does this mean for you and your family?
    • Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. A complete and accurate count is critical for you and your community, because the results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, and more.
    • Census data helps with the allocation of federal funding across 55 programs, including the National School Lunch Program, federal student loan programs, and many more.
    • For every person counted, from infants to young children to older adults, the State of Georgia receives more than $2,300 from the federal government. This amount adds up to more than $20 billion annually towards programs that benefit Georgians like you. The more people counted, the more money each community stands to receive.
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  • Who counts?

    If you are filling out the census for your home, you should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This includes anyone who is living and sleeping there most of the time, including children.

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  • How do I count a child? What if we split custody?

    It is important to remember to count any children who are living with you that are born on or before April 1, 2020. This includes:

    • All children who live in your home, including grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and the children of friends.
    • Children who split their time between homes, if they are living with you on April 1, 2020.
    • Newborn babies, even those who are born on April 1, 2020, or who are still in the hospital on this date.
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  • What if I have a child or family member in college?

    It is important to remember how to count college students based on where they are living. This includes:

    • College students who are living at home should be counted at their home address.
    • College students who live away from home should count themselves at their on- or off- campus residence where they live most of the time.
    • U.S. college students living and attending college outside of the U.S. are not counted in the Census.
    • Foreign students living and attending college in the U.S. should be counted at their on- or off- campus residence where they live most of the time
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  • How can I respond?

    There are three ways to respond to the 2020 Census.

    • By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:
      • Online
      • By phone
      • By mail
    • The 2020 Census marks the first time you'll have the option to respond online. You can also respond using a mobile device. If you do not have access to a computer or internet, please visit your local library.
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  • What if I don’t speak English?
    • You can respond to the census online or over the phone in 13 languages including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, and Tagalog.
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  • Why does the Census Bureau ask the questions they do?
    • The Census Bureau asks the questions they do on the surveys because of federal needs and for community benefits. The information the Census Bureau collects helps determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding annually is spent on infrastructure and services. Your answers help federal, state and local leaders make decisions about: schools, hospitals, emergency services, roads, bridges, job training centers, and many other projects that affect your community.
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  • How can you verify that someone is a Census worker?

    If someone visits your home to collect information for the 2020 Census, you can do the following to verify their identity:

    • First, check to make sure that they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
    • If you still have questions about their identity, you can contact the Atlanta Regional Census Office to speak with a Census Bureau representative. Their contact information is:
      • 101 Marietta Street, NW, Suite 3200
        Atlanta, GA 30303-2700
      • (404) 730-3832 or 1-800-424-6974
      • FAX: (404) 730-3835
      • TDD: (404) 730-3963
      • E-mail: Atlanta.Regional.Office@census.gov
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  • I thought the Census only happened every 10 years. Why did I also get something called the American Community Survey?
    • Launched in 2005, the American Community Survey (ACS) is part of the decennial census program and is essentially what used to be the Census long form. It collects more detailed information on housing, population, and the economy. ACS data are collected continuously throughout the year and throughout the decade from a sample (fraction) of the population (about 3 million addresses annually).
    • As of now, we estimate approximately 250,000 households will receive both the ACS and the 2020 Census form.
    • Like the 2020 Census participation in the ACS is mandatory by law and the American public’s participation is vital to provide data that impacts policy decisions locally.
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  • Are my answers safe and secure?

    Yes!

    • The Census Bureau collects data for statistical purposes only. They combine your responses with information from other households or businesses to produce statistics, which never identify your household, any person in your household, or business. Your information is CONFIDENTIAL. They never identify you individually.
    • Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information and violating this law is a crime with severe penalties. In addition, other federal laws, including the Confidential Statistical Efficiency Act and the Privacy Act reinforce these protections. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years, or both.
    • It is against the law to disclose or publish any of the following information:
      • Names
      • Addresses including GPS coordinates
      • Social Security numbers
      • Telephone numbers
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  • How does the U.S. Census Bureau help me identify fraudulent activity and scams?
    • The Census Bureau will never ask for:
      • full social security number
      • money or donations
      • anything on behalf of a political party
      • your full bank or credit card account numbers
    • If you are visited by someone from the United States Census Bureau, here are some RECOGNITION TIPS to assure the validity of the field representative;
      • Must present an ID Badge which contains: photograph of field representative, Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date.
      • Will provide you with supervisor contact information and/or the regional office phone number for verification, if asked.
      • Will provide you with a letter from the Director of the Census Bureau on U.S. Census Bureau letterhead.
      • May be carrying a laptop and/or bag with a Census Bureau logo.
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  • What if I am away from my residence on April 1, 2020?
    • People away from their usual residence on Census Day, such as on a vacation or a business trip, visiting, traveling outside the U.S., or working elsewhere without a usual residence there (for example, as a truck driver or traveling salesperson) are counted at the residence where they live and sleep most of the time.
    • Most Americans will be offered the opportunity to complete their Census form online for the first time, so you will not have to be near your main residence on Census Day.
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  • What if I have more than one residence or no residence on April 1, 2020?
    • People who live at two or more residences (during the week, month, or year), such as people who travel seasonally between residences (for example children in joint custody) are counted at the residence where they live and sleep most of the time. If usual residence cannot be determined, they are counted at the residence where they are staying on Thursday, April 1, 2020 (Census Day).
    • College students living away from their parental home while attending college in the U.S. (living either on-campus or off-campus) are counted at the on-campus or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time.
    • Those staying in shelter or living outdoors are counted where they are staying on April 1, 2020.
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  • What if I still don't know where to count my residence?

    Use the Federal Register for Response Criteria document. This document was created to address most any plausible sitation. If you are still having trouble, remember your 'usual residence is defined by the Census Bureau as the place where a person lives and sleeps most of the time'. That is the residence you should be counted at.

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  • When will the results from the census be available?
    • The nation should see the very first results from the 2020 Census in the form of total population counts for the nation and each state in late 2020 or early 2021.
    • In 2021 each state receives local-level 2020 Census data on race and the voting age population. As required by law, the Census Bureau will provide these key demographic data to the states (on a state-by-state basis), so the state governments can redraw the boundaries of their U.S. Congressional and state legislative districts. Public Law 94-171 requires that the redistricting data must be delivered to state officials responsible for legislative redistricting within one year of Census day or no later than April 1, 2021.
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  • What if I still have questions or concerns?
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