What Is the Census?
The U.S. Constitution requires that the federal government count each and every person living in the United States once every ten years. Whether you were born in the U.S., moved here 10 years ago, or moved here 10 days ago, you are entitled to your share of representation and resources!
Join Councilman Canek Aguirre and local leaders for a three-part series featuring panel discussions on the 2020 Census and why it is so important for EVERYONE to respond. Sessions will be hosted on Zoom. Registration is required.
The Census and Community Services
Saturday, May 2 3:00pm - 4:00pm
This session's focus is on how funding levels based on census data shape the work of community-based organizations and local nonprofits, which in turn provide critical services for city residents. Did you miss this event? Watch it on our YouTube channel.
The Census and Our Schools
Saturday, May 23 3:00pm - 4:00pm
In this session, we hone in on the impact of the census on our schools, which are among the biggest beneficiaries of an accurate census count. Did you miss this event? Watch it on our YouTube channel.
The Census and Local Government Services
Saturday, June 06 3:00pm - 4:00pm
In this session, we examine which city services are most heavily impacted by Alexandria's response rates to the census - and how an undercount will affect the everyday lives of ourselves, our friends, and our neighbors. Did you miss this event? Watch it on our YouTube channel.
• Accurate political representation - Census numbers determine how seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned.
• Fair Funding - An accurate Census count ensures that Alexandria gets its fair share of the $675 billion in federal resources each year. This includes grants to local schools, Head Start, SNAP, the National School Lunch Program, WIC, Medicaid, CHIP, special education, foster care and subsidized housing.
• Planning for the future - Accurate counts help Alexandria officials, non-profits, and businesses best serve our community, as they use Census data to make location and service decisions like where to build new schools, roads and bus stops.
If only one percent of Alexandria residents are not counted in this Census, the City would miss out on more than $18 million over ten years.
Click here for more on how census data impacts our community.
In mid-March 2020, the Census Bureau will mail you a letter inviting you to respond to the Census. You can respond in three ways:
• Online: You can complete the census online beginning March 12. You will be able to answer in English, Spanish, Arabic, and ten other languages.
• By phone: Live telephone assistance will be available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and ten other languages. You can also respond in English by TDD at 844-467-2020.
• By mail: You will receive a paper form in mid-April if you have not already responded.
The Census Bureau provides translated web pages and guides in English, Spanish, Amharic, Arabic, and 56 other languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in braille and large print.
If you do not respond by mid- to late-April, Census Bureau representatives may contact you at your home. The Census Bureau will NEVER ask for your social security number, money or donations, or your bank account or credit card numbers.
This is the first time that the census will be conducted primarily online, and some may wonder what the Census Bureau is doing to protect their data. For specific details, see the Technology FAQ from Census Counts.
The Census Bureau also features pages on how the Census Bureau protects your data, avoiding frauds and scams, and steps to fight misinformation and disinformation.
If you are very concerned about protecting your privacy, Alexandria Library recommends responding to the census on a secure network with password protection. For maximum data security protection, avoid filling out the census on your personal phone or tablet using our free Wi-Fi.
The 2020 Census will ask:
• How many people are living or staying in your home on April 1, 2020
• Whether the home is owned or rented
• Each person's sex
• Each person's age
• Each person's race
• Whether each person is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
• The relationship of each person to the householder
There is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
Click to see a sample 2020 Census questionnaire in English or in Spanish.
If you have questions about who to count, see this Census Bureau web page.