2020 Census Information

Goal  |  Why It Matters  |  How and When to Respond  |  Protecting Your Data  

Goal: An Accurate Population Count


The 2020 Census seeks to establish an accurate count of the nation’s population and has been conducted every ten years since 1790, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The census is required, important, and can have a significant impact on your community’s bottom line. Census data is used for

  • federal, state, and local funding distributions
  • intergovernmental agreements
  • drawing state and federal legislative districts
  • school districts
  • congressional reapportionment
  • decision-making by businesses on where to locate and invest.

Why It Matters

The State of Connecticut provides several examples of how the census data is used:

  • School Districts: Accurate counts of the student population by age, sex, race, ethnicity, and address are necessary for short- and long-term enrollment projections and planning initiatives. The Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) formula is derived, in part, using census inputs.
  • Funding Streams: The census is the foundation for official state, county, and municipal estimates upon which per capita funding allocations are determined. Funding allocation streams include federal, state, local allocations as well as grants from the federal and state governments and for profit and non-profit organizations.
  • Health Statistics: Accurate population counts from the 2020 census will directly impact the accuracy of major public health statistics: birth rates, infectious and chronic disease rates, cancer incidence rates, mortality rates, and indicators of health that are based on survey data – all of which are stratified by age, sex, race and ethnicity in order to target public health interventions.
  • Emergency Preparedness and Programmatic Planning: Local health districts utilize census data for preparedness planning (e.g., immunizations, shelters), programmatic health planning for towns, identifying vulnerable populations (elderly, very young, pregnant), and steering funds.
  • Municipal Planning: Predicting economic changes on the horizon (such as those that affect tax revenue) and transportation, housing, public safety, and other needs and trends.
  • Representation in the General Assembly: The data from the decennial census are used to create Connecticut’s voting districts which in turn are used for house and senate districts in the General Assembly.
  • Long-Term Impact on Municipalities: Complete addressing affects municipalities in a long-term way. While the 2020 census occurs on April 1, 2020, the Census address file is used by the American Community Survey and other census products for the entire decade. Under-representation can have a ten-year impact on population estimates and misrepresentation of demographics in 2020 can lead to long-term miscalculations.

How do I respond to the Census and When?

  • By April 1, 2020 every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have THREE options for responding: online, phone, or by mail. 
  • If you are living in a group living arrangement, such as a skilled nursing facility, the Census Bureau will identify a group quarters administrator at your location to ensure that you are counted in the 2020 Census.

How the Census Bureau Protects Your Data

  • The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. In fact, every employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.
  • The answers you provide are used for statistics only. You are kept anonymous. The Census Bureau is not permitted to release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home. 
  • From the beginning of the data collection process, the Census Bureau follows industry best practices and federal requirements to protect your data.