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Census 2020

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Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to determine the number of people living in the United States. This process of counting the nation’s population is mandated in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution. The data obtained from the decennial census provides the basis for reapportioning Congressional seats and the distribution of over $675 billion in federal funding to support services and infrastructure for our community.

2020 United States Census logoThe City of College Station encourages every citizen to participate in the census to ensure an accurate representation in Congress and our fair share of federal funds for schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. 

You will be able to reply to the census, using one of three methods: online, by phone, or by mail. 

Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics and they cannot be used against you in any way. In fact, every Census Bureau employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.

Census 2020 

Get Involved, Get Information, Get Counted

    Being Counted & College Student Information
    Who Should Be Counted? And Where?

    When determining where you should be counted, the Census Bureau states someone should be counted, or enumerated, at their usual address if they:

       •  Live or stay at the residence most of the time; or
       •  Stayed there on April 1, 2020 and had no permanent place to live; or
       •  Stay at the residence more time than any other place they might live or stay

    For most college or university students, it may be confusing as to where they would be counted. Would they be counted at their parent’s home since they pay the bills or because their parent’s claim them as dependents? The answer is no. They should be counted where they live most of the time.

    For college students that are in their hometown due to COVID-19, please follow the three C's to help us ensure a complete count: 

    Complete the Census: If you live in College Station most of the time while attending school, you should complete the Census according to your physical address here in College Station. Even if you are temporarily somewhere else on April 1 due to COVID-19. You don't have to wait to get the mail out to complete the census, you can complete it today at

    Coordinate with roommates: If you live with roommates in College Station, coordinate with each other to ensure that only one roommate completes the Census for everyone at that physical address. Only one person per household should complete the census. 

    Communicate with your family: Talk with your family to ensure you are counted at the physical address where you live most of the time, and that they don't count you. Your family has the option to include you in their Census count but should answer “Yes, for college” when asked “Does this person usually live or stay somewhere else?”

    Your information is Confidential

    Your Census Responses are Safe and Secure

    The Census Bureau is required by law to protect any personal information we collect and keep it strictly confidential. The Census Bureau can only use your answers to produce statistics. In fact, every Census Bureau employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life. Your answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine your personal eligibility for government benefits. 

    •Learn more about the Census Bureau’s data protection and privacy program

    By law, your responses cannot be used against you

    By law, your census responses cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way—not by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), not by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), not by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and not by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The law requires the Census Bureau to keep your information confidential and use your responses only to produce statistics.

    The law is clear—no personal information can be shared

    Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households, or businesses, even to law enforcement agencies. The law states that the information collected may only be used for statistical purposes and no other purpose. To support historical research, Title 44 of the U.S. Code allows the National Archives and Records Administration to release census records only after 72 years.

    All Census Bureau staff take a lifetime oath to protect your personal information, and any violation comes with a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison.

    Responding to the Census
    Responding to the Census

    Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. Nearly every household will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census from either a postal worker or a census worker. 

    95% of households:
    Will receive their census invitation in the mail.

    Almost 5% of households:
    Will receive their census invitation when a census taker drops it off. In these areas, the majority of households may not receive mail at their home’s physical location (like households that use PO boxes or areas recently affected by natural disasters). 

    Less than 1% of households
    Will be counted in person by a census taker, instead of being invited to respond on their own. This is done in very remote areas like parts of northern Maine, remote Alaska, and in select Native American areas that ask to be counted in person. 

    Note: The Census Bureau has special procedures to count people who don’t live in households, such as students living in university housing or people experiencing homelessness.

    What to Expect in the Mail

    When it’s time to respond, most households will receive an invitation in the mail. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you’ll receive either get an invitation encouraging you to respond online or an invitation along with a paper questionnaire.

    Letter Invitation
    •Most areas of the country are likely to respond online, so most households will receive a letter asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire.
    •The Census Bureau will work with the U.S. Postal Service to stagger the delivery of these invitations over several days.

    Letter Invitation and Paper Questionnaire
    Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation. The invitation will also include information about how to respond online or by phone. 

    Every household will receive reminders and will eventually receive a paper questionnaire if they haven’t responded to the initial invitations. It doesn’t matter which initial invitation you get or how you get it, the Census Bureau we will follow up in person with all households that don’t respond.

    Census Timeline
    March: Census Bureau delivers questions to Congress

    Open 6 regional census centers

    October: Full implementation of the communications program

    October: Partnership specialists begin working for Census Bureau

    January-March: Open 40 area census offices

    June-September: Open remaining 208 area census offices

    Conduct in-field Address Canvassing

    January: Begin enumeration in remote Alaska

    February: Group Quarters Operation begins

    March: Update Leave begins

    March: Internet Self-Response begins

    April 1: Census Day 

    May: Nonresponse Followup begins

    December 31: Deliver apportionment counts to the President


    March 31: Complete delivery of Redistricting Summary Files to all states (P.L. 94-171)

    Job Opportunities

    The Census Bureau is looking for people to help with the 2020 census. Interested? Apply today!

    •View and apply for jobs with the 2020 census

    Earn Extra Money

    Could you use a little extra income? Jobs for the 2020 Census offer competitive wages that are paid weekly. Authorized expenses, such as mileage, are reimbursed for employees doing fieldwork.

    Support Your Community

    Decennial census data are used to determine your representation in Congress, as well as how funds are spent for roads, schools, hospitals, and more. Help ensure that everyone in your community is counted in the next decennial census.

    Fit Your Schedule

    Temporary positions for the 2020 Census feature flexible hours—a perfect fit if you are looking to earn a little extra money, even if you already have other commitments.

    Be a Part of History

    Every 10 years since 1790, the United States has undertaken the momentous task of counting all of its residents. This is your chance to play a role.

“Hard to Count” Populations

The goal of the census is to count each person in the United States based on their residence as of April 1. For the 2020 census, each household in the U.S. will either receive mailed instructions on how to fill out the census questionnaire online, or they will receive the actual questionnaire. The Census Bureau asks that as many households as possible submit their responses to this questionnaire via the Internet or by mail — this is the self-response component of the decennial census.

In prior censuses, the self-response rate in many parts of the country has been relatively high. But in other parts of the country and for some population groups more than others, the self-response rate has been relatively low. Households may not have submitted their census questionnaire for various reasons, such as having language difficulties, concerns about trust in government, or otherwise.

Contact Information

Planning and Development Services979.764.3570
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