Waukesha County

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2020 Census Facts & Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the decennial census 

The decennial census (“decennial” meaning every 10 years) is a count of the entire population. The census accounts for every person, adult and child, living in the United States, regardless of immigration or citizenship status.  

Do I have to participate in the census? 

It is very important to have an accurate census count. Participating in the census survey is not only required by law, but accurate counts of the population affect community and business funding, congressional representation and much more.  It is free to participate in the census survey and your answers to the census remain confidential from any other government agency. Census 101

How long will the census survey take:  

The 2020 census survey should take about 10 minutes to complete, depending on the size of your household and your chosen method of completing the survey (online, paper, telephone). 

How do I participate? 

There will be three options to participate in the 2020 Census: online, via telephone or through a mail-in survey. The 2020 Census paper census survey will be available in English and Spanish and the online and telephone options will be available in 13 different languages. Census Language Options

When can I complete the Census survey? 

Mid-March 2020: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with a detailed invitation 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. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. 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 also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count. 

May - July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven't responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted. 

Are my answers confidential? 

Yes! Your 2020 Census survey responses are 100% confidential. Responses on the 2020 Census are used for statistical data only. Your responses cannot affect your government benefits or citizenship status and will not be reported to any other government agency. Census Bureau workers with access to your information are sworn, for life, to confidentiality and will be subject to a $250,000 fine and/or up to 5 years in federal prison for the wrongful disclosure of confidential information. 

Will a Census worker come to my house? 

If, by the end of April, your household has not completed a 2020 Census survey, you will be visited by a confidentiality-sworn Census Bureau worker to assist with completing the survey for your household and any persons living at your residence.  Remember the 2020 Census is required by law, but answers are confidential.  

Census Bureau workers will never ask you for money, your social security number or bank account information and will have a valid Census Bureau ID Badge. 

To help identify Census Bureau workers that come to your house  visit for more information  https://www.census.gov/about/regions/chicago/contact/identify.html 

Online Security 

If you choose to submit your 2020 Census Survey via the Census Bureau’s secure online portal, all responses are encrypted to protect your confidentiality. Visit https://www.census.gov/about/policies/privacy.html for more information regarding the Census Bureau’s data and privacy protection. 

 Answering the Census is Free & Secure. 

Remember, there is no cost to participate in the 2020 Census and you do not have to provide your social security number in any circumstance for the 2020 Census.  

Job Opportunities Associated with the Census Bureau for the 2020 Census 

(Please note, these job opportunities are not affiliated or associated with Waukesha County)