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Census 2020: Who counts

The Census 2020 Guide brings together resources about why the Census is important, key information about the Census, and where to find additional information.

Census 2020: The Census Bureau's website

For official information about the 2020 Census, see the Census Bureau's website.

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Who is counted

The Census counts every person, regardless of citizenship, living in the United States, including the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Somoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

The Census counts people at their usual residence where they sleep and live most of the time as of April 1, 2020.  

For information about who is counted, including counting children, students, foreign citizens in the U.S., people experiencing homelessness, and other circumstances, see Who to count.

United States Census 2020, Conducting the Count.
United States Census 2020, Who is required to respond?
United States Census 2020, Who to count.

How the Census Bureau conducts the count

Households:
By April 1, 2020, every home should have received a letter in the mail requesting response to the Census either by:

  • Mail
  • Online
  • Phone

United States Census 2020, Ways to Respond.

Group living arrangements:
This category includes people living in group facilities, such as college dorms, skilled nursing facilities, military barracks, correctional facilities, etc.  The Census will contact a group quarters administrator to count the entire group. 
United States Census 2020, Counting People in Group Living Arrangements.

Students
In most cases students living at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily living elsewhere due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For further information about how the Census is counting on-campus college students who are temporarily living off-campus due to COVID-19, see the Census Bureau Statement on Modifying 2020 Census Operations to Make Sure College Students are Counted.

People experiencing homelessness:
The Census will count people experiencing homelessness by visiting shelters, soup kitchens, mobile food vans, and non-sheltered outdoor locations. 
United States Census 2020, Important Dates.
United States Census 2020, How We Count People Experiencing Homelessness.