Census 2020: Make Yourself Count

What Is the 2020 U.S. Census?

Every ten years the federal government is required to count everyone living in the U.S. through a nationwide census. The 2020 Censusopens a new window marks the first time that community members will be able to respond online and is available in several languages. To ensure a fair count and to fight misinformation and disinformation, our community libraries are dedicated to providing you with important resources and information leading up to Census Day on April 1, 2020

Why Is the Census Important?

The data collected from the census is critical in helping the government decide how to allocate funds that go toward public servicesopens a new window and programs that support health, housing, education, transportation services and more in your community. Collecting census data is the best way to ensure that the diverse voices across the county are heard, growing needs are met, and the right programs and services are available.

For more videos on the 2020 Census, visit the U.S. Census Bureau's YouTube channelopens a new window.

Who Is Counted?

EVERYONE living in the United States and five U.S. territories is counted no matter their ageopens a new window, residence locationopens a new window, or citizenship statusopens a new window.

So How Do You Make Yourself Count?

In mid-March 2020, most residential addresses received in the mail an invitation to respond online. Starting in early April, paper forms of the census survey will be sent out. The survey will only ask basic questionsopens a new window about each person living in the household (name, age, sex, race/ethnicity). It will NOT ask about citizenship or immigration status. 

One person from every household can respond by mail, phone call, or online. Households that don’t respond on their own will be visited by Census Bureau workers starting mid-May 2020 for in-person interviews. Online or phone responses will be accepted through July 31.  

Is My Data Safe?

Yes. Household and individual information provided on the Census 2020 questionnaire is strongly protected by lawopens a new window. The Census Bureau only reports data as statistics and does not share personal information with any other government agencies (FBI, ICE, Welfare, local code enforcement).

Avoid Frauds and Scams

For your safety and to avoid fraud, only give your basic information to census takers that can verify their identity with a photo ID. They will never ask you for your social security number, bank account or credit card numbers, or money or donations. For more information about maintaining your safety, including important phone numbers to call, visit the 2020 Census siteopens a new window.

Help Is Available

We are eager to support your needs to ensure a fair Census count. For basic questions, contact library staff through our Get in Touch online form or try our new texting service

Please continue to check this page for updates and Library announcements.

How Can You Get Involved?

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently hiring up to 800 residents in San Mateo Countyopens a new window! You can also lead or join outreach efforts to help educate your community and spread the word. Visit the Census site for more information.opens a new window

For additional information, visit Census 2020 in San Mateo Countyopens a new window.

Take The Census Challenge

San Mateo County is launching the Census Challenge! Here are the four simple steps to participate:

  1. Take a photo after completing the census and post to social media
  2. Use the hashtags #SMCcounts and #EveryoneCounts
  3. Tag the account @smc_commaffairsopens a new window
  4. Tag five friends to take the challenge!

When more people in our community respond, that means more opportunities for you, your family, and your neighbors for the next 10 years - and that's why we need your help in spreading the word!

Census Tele-Town Hall

On Wednesday, April 1 at 3 PM, join a special Tele-Town Hall with Assemblymembers Marc Berman and Kevin Mullin, and San Mateo County Board of Supervisor Carole Groom. Call in to hear or ask questions from local respresentatives discussing the census and how efforts to ensure a complete count are being adapted due to COVID-19.

To participate, call (855) 962-1455 or follow the County of San Mateo on Facebookopens a new window for more information.

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