2020 Census: We All Count



    The Census occurs every 10 years, and counts every person living in the 50 states and five U.S. territories.  Information gathered during the Census provides critical data that is used to determine how billions of dollars in federal funding is distributed for hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources.                                                                     


    Not only is census participation required by law, a complete and accurate census count is critical for the future of the Yakima Valley.

    If the census misses people in Yakima County, we won’t get fair funding for critical resources like Head Start, Medicaid, transportation planning, educational grants, and food assistance programs.

    In addition, our officials won’t have the reliable information they need to make decisions for our community.                                                                                                                                          


    Yakima Valley Libraries is proud to help ensure that everyone in our community is counted during the 2020 Census. Please explore the information and resources below to learn when, where, and how you can complete the 2020 Census.


    • Beginning March 12, each U.S. household will get one or more letters from the Census Bureau inviting you to respond online.
    • If your household has not responded by early April, the Census Bureau will mail you a paper questionnaire.
    • If there is still no response by the end of April, a representative from the Census Bureau will visit your household to complete the questionnaire in-person.


    Households can respond to the census online, by phone, or on a paper questionnaire.

    Beginning March 12, 2020 U.S. households will receive a mailed postcard with a URL where you can complete the Census questionnaire online.

    The postcard will also include the option to call a toll-free number for assistance.

    RESPONDING ONLINE (my2020Census.gov)

    • The online questionnaire will be available in 13 languages.
    • The online questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to complete
    • The online form will allow you to respond on a smartphone, tablet, or computer
    • The online form is secure, and responses will be encrypted


    • The Census Bureau will provide free assistance in 13 languages via a toll-free phone hotline beginning March 1, 2020.
        • English: 1-844-330-2020
        • Spanish: 1-844-468-2020
        • TDD: 1-844-467-2020
    • People who have questions or need help responding to the census are encouraged to use the phone option.


    • If you prefer to complete a paper questionnaire, the Census Bureau will automatically mail one to your household AFTER April 8.
    • Paper questionnaires will only be sent to households that have NOT completed the online questionnaire by April 3.
    • If you wait for a paper questionnaire to be mailed to you, it is possible that a census taker will also follow up in-person.

    When you login to the 2020 Census online portal, you will be asked to: 

    • Enter a unique Census ID code (the code will be included on the Census invitation you receive in the mail)
    • Confirm your address
    • Provide your name and a phone number
    • Answer a few statistical questions about yourself, and anyone else who lives in your household

    This video will introduce you to the 2020 Census, present a quick overview of the online questionnaire, and help you answer the questions.

    Este video en español presenta el Censo del 2020, le ofrece una rápida descripción general del cuestionario por internet y le ayuda a responder las preguntas.

    What questions does the census ask?

    The questionnaire asks for a count of people living in your home, their names, and relationship. It also asks whether you rent or own your home, in addition to statistical questions about the age, gender, race and/or ethnic origin of everyone living in your household.

    Do I have to answer all of the questions?

    You can skip questions on the census form and it will still be counted by the Census Bureau. However, if you return an incomplete questionnaire, you may receive a follow-up phone call or in-person visit from a census worker who will attempt to gather the missing information.

    Will the census ask about citizenship or immigration status?

    No. The 2020 Census will NOT ask about citizenship.

    The purpose of the census is to count EVERYONE who lives in the U.S. and its territories. This includes citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors, and undocumented immigrants.

    What happens if I don’t respond to the census?

    The U.S. Constitution requires the completion of a census every 10 years, so the Census Bureau will make every effort to ensure you are included in the count. If you choose not to respond online, by phone or via paper questionnaire, a census worker will conduct an in-person visit to your household to gather the information.

    Who has access to census responses?

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau: “Census responses are confidential. In fact, every employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.”

    U.S. law strictly prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing personal census responses, or any information that personally identifies you, with anyone—including law enforcement, courts, or any other government agency.


    How will my data be protected?

    The Census Bureau’s technology is fully “locked down” so that it can only be accessed by fully vetted individuals who are trained in data and cyber security.

    Please CLICK HERE to learn more about how the the U.S. Census Bureau protects your data.


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    2020 Census – Safety & Security