All 2020 U.S. Census systems go

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The 2020 Census is important because responses help determine congressional representation for each state and guide how billions of dollars in public, private and not-for-profit resources are distributed across the country for the next 10 years.

Those funds are used for critical services, like emergency response, fire departments, schools, health care and transportation.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s goal is a complete and accurate count of every person living in this country as of April 1, 2020. In many ways, the census will be our nation’s largest civic engagement effort ever.

Counting everyone in a country as vast and diverse as ours is complex. For the first time, you can choose to respond to the census online, over the phone or on paper through the mail. If you do not respond in one of those ways, we’ll visit your residence to collect your information in person.

We also undertake several operations designed for people living in special situations, i.e. people experiencing homelessness, communities recovering from natural disasters, college dorm residents and others living in group quarters.


Our online response option is designed to make it easy for the public to securely respond to the 2020 Census. The ability to respond online anywhere is a tremendous help to those doing outreach to encourage a complete and accurate count.

We have worked hard to ensure our technology is safe, secure and easy to use for everyone.

To make sure our systems work, we took several steps.

  • We extended the period in which people can self-respond. The online and telephone response options will open in mid-March and will remain open until we are done with our door-to-door follow-up operation in late summer.

  • We made the website and the census itself easy to access. Our secure website is accessible on any device, desktop, laptop or mobile that currently functions on the web.

  • We have built a network of experts across the private and public sectors to help us secure the site and the important data you provide.

To make sure we keep our site up and running if the unforeseen does happen, we developed and built two secure data collection systems. We designed them to be modular so that either system could fully substitute for the other. Redundancy allows us to have a backup system should there be any reason to swap one of these systems out.
The success of the 2020 Census depends on your trust in its safety and your understanding of its importance. Your participation is vital, which means your trust in us is vital. The 2020 Census is not just our mission; it is something that belongs to all of us.

Visit to learn more about the 2020 Census – how to respond and why it matters.

This commentary was submitted by Florence Hedeen, Hubbard County Complete Count Committee Coordinator.

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