JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The data gathered from the 2020 census will determine a lot, including congressional districts and how $1.5 trillion in funding will be allocated over the next decade.
On Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau made a soft launch of the 2020 Census website. Starting Thursday, households can expect to start receiving Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond online, by phone or by mail.
If you prefer to do it the old fashioned way, fill out the survey -- one per household -- and send it back in the postage-paid envelope.
If you prefer to do it online, don’t throw away the letter. You’re going to need that.
Here’s how you get started:
A very small portion of the population will not be allowed to respond online, including people living in Puerto Rico, group housing and homes where the Census Bureau has an incomplete mailing address.
Important dates to remember
March 12-20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 census online, by phone or by mail.
March 30-April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers will also begin following up with households that have not yet responded in areas that include off-campus housing, where residents are not counted in groups.
May-July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 census to help make sure everyone is counted.
December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the president and Congress, as required by law.