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The 2020 Census – Your answers are critical for your community



3 ways to complete your survey: letters to your home, online surveys, or in person

census, government, statistics, community


Residents across the Hudson Valley have the opportunity to help their communities by completing the 2020 census, or the American Community Survey (ACS).  Some may have already received a few mailings and reminders already.  However, it can also be completed online, or via a field representative visit.

Each completed survey is important because it’s a building block used to create statistics about communities in America. The data is also important for determining community funding.

It is quick and easy to complete.

Here is what you need to know:

What is the census for?

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories.  The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). 

Why is a count is necessary?

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. A complete and accurate count is critical for you and your community because the results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, and more.

What is the importance of the data?

The 2020 Census determines congressional representation, have an impact on hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade.

Ways to respond

Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail—between March 12-20. (However, many areas may not receive a mailing or an online survey, so a visit by a field rep may be necessary.)

Every year, the U.S. Census Bureau contacts over 3.5 million addresses across the country to participate in the American Community Survey (ACS). When you respond to the survey, you are doing your part to ensure decisions about your community can be made using the best data available.

The Census Bureau mails letters to inform you that you have been selected to participate in either the ACS if you live within the United States, or the Puerto Rico Community Survey (PRCS) if you live within Puerto Rico.

  •  The initial mailing for the ACS provides instructions for completing the survey online. A paper questionnaire is later mailed for those that prefer not to respond online. You are asked to complete the survey either online or to mail the completed paper questionnaire back.
  • In Puerto Rico, only a paper questionnaire is mailed.
  • Please note that some hard to reach addresses, such as Remote Alaska, will be visited in person by a Census employee to fill out the form in person.

If the Census Bureau does not hear from you online, by mail, or by phone, a Census Bureau field representative may visit you in person to help you complete the American Community Survey.

In-person interviews are also conducted with people living in group housing and people living in remote areas.

Ways to verify that the field representative is legitimate

If someone has contacted you about the American Community Survey and you'd like to verify that the visit is legitimate, you can call your Census Regional Office.

If you wish to independently confirm that the person at your door is a Census Bureau employee, you can enter their name in the Census Bureau’s staff search website. Enter in the first and last name only to verify a field representative's identity.



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