About the Census: Information for immigrants
The US Constitution requires that every 10 years, the federal government take a count, or a census, of America's population. The census is a very important measurement of our City, as these numbers will be used for the next ten years for a number of purposes, including:
- It determines how many Representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries.
- Communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of resident needs, including new roads, schools, and emergency services.
- Each year, the census numbers are used by the federal government to distribute $675 billion to states and communities for programs that support education, housing, health facilities, transportation, emergency services, food assistance, and more. The state of Arkansas receives more than $9 billion a year through federal spending programs guided by data provided in the 2010 census!
- Businesses use census data to determine where to open places to shop.
The 2020 Census begins in March, 2020.
Do I need to answer the census if I came to the US from another country?
Yes! It's important that everyone living in the US on April 1, 2020 be counted, even if you are from another country living here temporarily to work or go to school; whether you are a US citizen or not. The census information can be used to help protect civil rights laws and determine when services should be provided in other languages. It can also be used to attract businesses that cater to communities with diverse populations.
As immigrants, your power is in your numbers! Census data drive many public programs and help determine where and what kinds of goods and services are provided in communities. Be counted to be sure your needs are taken into consideration!
What kind of questions are asked on the census?
The census asks questions about who is living in your place of residence on April 1, 2020, called "Census Day." You will be asked to provide the name, age, date of birth, race, gender, and relationship to the person answering the questionnaire. Click here to view a sample of the 2020 census questionnaire.
Is it safe for me to complete the census? Is the information I give the census confidential?
Yes. By law, the Census Bureau may not share your information with any other entity, including immigration or law enforcement agencies. By law, your responses cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way. The information you provide is not used to determine taxes, to decide if you are eligible for government benefits, or any other purpose other than statistics, The Bureau completes a report on the overall demographics of each area, but individual information is not shared, and those records are sealed for 72 years. All Census Bureau staff take a lifetime oath to protect your personal information, and any violation would incur a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years in prison.
Will there be a question about citizenship on the census questionnaire?
No. The US Supreme Court has decided that the citizenship question could not be added to the 2020 census. The census forms have already been finalized without this question.
How do I complete the census questionnaire?
The US Census Bureau will offer three ways to respond: internet, telephone, and paper. People can respond in 12 non-English languages over the phone or via the internet.
How will the census questionnaire come to me?
In March, 2020, postcards will go out to households all over the country with information about the census, and instructions about how to answer the census questionnaire online. The questionnaire will take only a few minutes to complete.
In May, 2020, professional census-takers will begin to follow up in person, calling or visiting households that have not yet completed the census. They will be clearly identified as employees of the US Census.
Census Job Opportunities
You can help us reach out to your community and ensure that everyone is counted in Fayetteville! The US Census Bureau will be hiring people to serve as census-takers in our community. Learn more about how to apply here.
Click here to take the pledge to be counted and to help us encourage everyone to take the 2020 census! We'll send you updates about census events, volunteer opportunities, and resources to help us ensure a complete count for Fayetteville!