Census

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Why the 2020 Census matters

Health clinics. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of our community.

The Census results help determine how federal funding flows into the State of Wisconsin and the City of Wauwatosa. They also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

Counting our population is mandated by the U.S. Constitution every 10 years.

What questions will be asked on the Census?

The Census will ask:

  • How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020
  • Whether the home is owned or rented
  • About the age, sex, and race of each person in your home
  • About the relationship of each person in your home

See a sample 2020 Census questionnaire.

How will the Census be conducted?

By April 1, 2020, every home will receive a letter invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding: online, by phone, or by mail.

The 2020 Census marks the first time you'll have the option to respond online. You can even respond on your mobile device.

Will a Census Bureau employee come to my house?

Starting in 2019, you may notice census takers in your neighborhood. This is a normal part of preparations for the 2020 Census.

In May 2020, census takers begin visiting households that haven't responded to the Census to help ensure everyone is counted.

Census employees will wear badges with photo IDs.

Who is required to respond?

Everyone living in the 50 states, 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) is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.

How are college students counted?

The Census counts people in the place that they live and sleep most of the time. This means college students should be counted in their residence hall or apartment if that is where they reside most of the time as of April 1, 2020.