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Census 2020

What is the Census?

  • The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to count everyone living in the country every 10 years through a process called the Census.

  • The Census must include people of all ages, races, and ethnic groups; all citizens and non-citizens, regardless of their immigration status. Our participation is a right and a responsibility.

Do I need to fill out the Census?

  • Taking part in the Census is your civic duty. Completing the census is required: It’s a way to participate in our democracy and say: “I Count!”

Why is the Census important?

  • The more accurate the Census count is in our communities, the more funding our communities can receive for the next 10 years.

  • The data collected during the Census will be used to determine how more than $700 billion in federal government resources will be distributed each year for the next decade to states and localities:


Building & maintaining public schools, special & adult education


Healthcare programs, Medicaid, WIC, childcare, etc.


Supporting low-income housing programs


Building and maintaining roads, public transportation, etc.

Did you know that the number of elected leaders in local, state, and federal government depends on the Census? 

  • Tennessee could gain 1 more seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as a result of the 2020 Census, which means an opportunity to build political power in our communities and elect people that support our issues.

  • The number of political representatives we have depends on how many of us are counted

  • Districts are also drawn using Census data. This includes:

  • School districts

  • Local city council 

  • State representatives

  • U.S Congress

Facts: Immigrants in TN are about 5% of the total population. Immigrants are an integral part of the Tennessee workforce across industries.  They have contributed to significant economic growth in Tennessee which includes:

  • $1.5 billion in federal taxes and $493.9 million in state and local taxes in 2014 from immigrant lead households.

  • Furthermore, undocumented immigrants in Tennessee paid an estimated $107.5 million in state and local taxes in 2014, and,

  • Tennessee residents in immigrant-led households had $5.9 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.

  • 20,861 immigrant business owners accounted for 7 percent of all self-employed Tennessee residents in 2015 and generated $450 million in business income.

  • In 2015, immigrants accounted for 11.4 percent of business owners in the Nashville metropolitan area and 9.9 percent in the Memphis metro area (which straddles Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi).

Who gets counted?

  • Everyone in the household needs to be counted! This means everyone who lives in the house including all babies, children, college students, adults, relatives, friends, children of friends, grandparents, in-laws, etc., regardless of their age or legal status.

How can I fill out the Census?

  • Online and phone Census form will be available in 13 different languages. There will also be a guide on how to fill out the census in 59 languages. 

  • When filling out the census make sure that every person living in the household is counted.




When do I complete my Census form?

  • March 12 – 20: Households receive an invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census (some households will receive paper questionnaires).


  • April 8 – 16:  If you have not responded yet, a reminder letter and paper questionnaire will be sent. 

  • April 20 – 27: If you have not responded yet, a final reminder postcard is sent before the Census Bureau follows up in person. 

  • May 2020 - Aug 2020 Non-response follow-up: Anyone who did not respond or fill out the Census form by the end of May 2020 will have an enumerator (Census Bureau worker) visit their house to follow up and help them fill out the Census form.

  • July 31 Last day to complete the Census on your own 

  • *Source: U.S. Census Bureau, "How Everyone will be Invited to Respond"

What happens if I do not fill out the form?

  • A Census worker will come to your home to help you fill out the form if you do not fill out the Census on your own by the end of May 2020.

What will I be asked on the 2020 Census questionnaire?

  • A Census worker will come to your home to help you fill out the form if you do not fill out the Census on your own by the end of May 2020.

What will I NOT be asked on the 2020 Census questionnaire?

  • Citizenship Status

  • Immigration Status

  • Social Security Number

  • Permits or licensing of any converted units on property

  • Use of public benefits

  • Criminal background or convictions

  • Bank account or payment information

  • Employment, income or wealth information

Must I respond to the 2020 Census questionnaire and answer all of the questions?

  • It is required by federal law to respond to, complete and truthfully answers the Census Questionnaire. Persons who fail to comply may be subject to fines. (Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 221.) 

What happens if I do not respond or leave questions on the Census questionnaire blank?

  • The U.S. Census Bureau will conduct Non-Response Follow Up to households that do not self-respond to the Census. This means an enumerator may call or visit households that do not complete their census questionnaire. The best way to avoid the Census Bureau contacting you is to self-respond. If one, or more, questions on the Census questionnaire is left blank, the U.S. Census Bureau says this increases the likelihood it will attempt to collect the missing information through some direct contact. More information is needed from the Bureau before definitive guidance can be provided to the community on this.

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