Frequently Asked Questions

What is the census?

The census is a count of everyone living in the United States. This mandatory count is required to take place every 10 years by the United States Constitution.

When does it take place?

The federal census is conducted every 10 years. The next federal census will occur in 2020. You will receive Census correspondence prior to Census Day April 1, 2020.

How do I fill out my census form

For the first time, the census is now online and/or over the phone. In the middle of March you will get a letter in the mail that will tell you to call or go online to fill out the census. If you have not filled out the form by April, they will send you the physical paper form of the census. If you still have not filled it out after a week, volunteers will start to knock on doors to raise awareness.

If you do not have internet access - you can respond by phone or paper too. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire. The online questionnaire will be available in 12 non-English languages (Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese). Help will also be available via phone in some of these languages.

Who is counted?

Everyone is counted. The population of the United States must be counted. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the United States Code. Federal law protects the personal information you provide during the census.

Where is it counting?

Everywhere in the United States. The Federal Census counts everyone living in the U.S., including all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

Where do I get more information?


Web: (MA specific census information)

U.S. Census Customer Service Center: 1-800-923-8282

What the census DOES NOT ask:

The census will not ask for your citizenship status, social security number, or your credit card number.

Is census data confidential?

Yes!! Your answers are protected by law (Title I3 of the U.S. Code, Section 9) and are strictly confidential. It is illegal for the Census Bureau and their employees to share the personal information with any other government agency, local law enforcement, IRS, Health and Human Services, ICE, FBI, etc. Even the President of the U.S. is not able to access your responses.

What is the date for the 2020 Census?

April 1, 2020 is Census Day!!

Source: US 2020 Census

Why the Census Matters

The census affects funding in your community! Census data affects how more than $675 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation, etc.

The census also affects your voice in Congress! The number of representatives in Congress is determined by the number of residents in Massachusetts in relation to the number of residents in the U.S.

The census affects your representation in state and local government! Federal Census data is used to define legislative districts, school district assignment areas and other important areas of government.

The census provides important information used for local decision-making! The census provides data that helps show who we are as a nation. Data in the census that shows changes in communities are important to keep track of in order to make planning decisions - such as: where to provide services for the elderly, where to build new roads and schools, or where to locate job training centers, etc.

Source: US 2020 Census

2020 Complete Count Committees (CCC)

Who are they?

CCC’s are comprised of a broad spectrum of government and community leaders from education, business, healthcare, and other community organizations.

What do they do?

CCC’s use their local knowledge, influence, and resources to educate communities and promote the census through locally based, targeted outreach efforts. They help to coordinate between tribal, state, and local governments; communities; and the Census Bureau.

They do all of this to help develop and implement a 2020 Census awareness campaign!

When are they forming?

CCCs are forming now! Leaders of CCCs are identifying budget resources and establishing local work plans. In 2020 they will put their plans into action and guide their communities to a successful census count.

Why were they made?

CCCs are important because they create localized messaging that resonates with the population in their area. They are trusted voices in their communities and are best suited to mobilize community resources in an efficient manner.

How will they do their work?

A few ways CCCs will reach the community and raise awareness is:

  • Holding CCC kickoff meetings with media briefings

  • Participating in Census rallies or parades

  • Coordinating Census unity youth forums

  • Hosting Interfaith breakfasts and weekend events

  • Helping to recruit census workers when jobs become available.

Where you can find more information about the Complete Count Committee:

Phone: 617-727-0420



Source: United States Census Bureau