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We All Count

You, your family and your community deserve representation and resources.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to determine
the number of people living in the United States.

A full, fair and accurate census is extremely important to YWCA St. Paul’s work and the people we serve. The 2020 Census isn’t just a head count: it determines political representation and allocation of more than $675 billion in state and federal funding to communities each year.

Federal law protects your responses from everyone, including agencies and
law enforcement. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics.

What is the Census?

The Census has been a cornerstone of our democracy since the first national count in 1790. It is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail. This census is the first time you will be able to respond to the census online.


Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to determine the number of people living in the United States.

The census asks for basic personal information such as name, relationship to head of household, gender, age, Hispanic origin and race, and status as homeowner or renter. There are no questions about citizenship status.

Sample census questions can be viewed online at

Everyone counts. The census counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place. Every person, including babies and children, residing in the household needs to be included on the form in order to be counted.

In March 2020, most households will receive an invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau with instructions to respond. For the first time, participants now have the option to complete the form online, by mail or via phone.

The census is free to complete and takes approximately 10 minutes. The Census Bureau will never ask you for money, bank or credit card info, or your Social Security number.

Census data is used to allocate federal funds, create jobs, provide housing, fund K–12 education, build schools, roads, hospitals, libraries, and much more. It’s also closely tied to emergency planning and disaster response.

Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats (and votes) each state gets. State and congressional districts are also affected by census information.

The Census Bureau has ensured that everyone can respond to the census. Telecommunications help is available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The online response form is available in 12 non-English languages. 

Additionally, support for 58 non-English languages including American Sign Language, plus Braille and large print, is available at

Federal law protects your census responses. Your answers can only be used to produce anonymous statistics, and cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

By law, your information cannot be shared with immigration enforcement agencies, law enforcement agencies, or be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits.

Every census, groups are undercounted, and their federal allocations fall short as a result. Unfortunately, many of these groups are the ones most in need of funding and representation.

As a partner and resource in many of these communities, we believe that a full, fair, accurate and safe census will be a force for good in eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

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