Census 2020

About Census 2020

Complete Your Census 2020

Your Response Matters

Every 10 years, people living in the United States—citizens and non-citizens—are required by law to participate in the census. The census aims to count all people living in U.S. Census data is used to determine fair political representation in government and the annual distribution of over $675 billion in federal funds to support vital community services, such as free and low-cost health programs like Medi-Cal, daycare and after-school programs, nutrition and housing assistance programs, job training, and public transit. Your answers can shape your future.

The Census is Simple to Complete

Sometime in March, you should receive an invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau requesting your response to the 2020 census. If you don’t receive a census invitation by mail, a census worker will deliver it to your residence in person. Every household has the option of responding to the 2020 census online, over the phone, or by mail. On average, it takes no more than 10 minutes to answer the census questionnaire.


For more details on ways to respond to the census, visit our FAQ page.


How does the census benefit my community?

Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Our community benefits the most when everyone is included in the census count. After the 2010 census count, Pasadena received over $400 million in federal funding to help support vital programs and community services including:

  • Daycares, preschools, and after-school enrichment programs
  • Low-income students develop proficiency in classrooms
  • School violence- and drug-prevention programs
  • Job training programs
  • Street and road repair
  • Improvements to our local bus and rail system
  • The enhancement of bike and pedestrian connections
  • Rental assistance programs for low-income renters
  • Homeless services
  • Emergency response services
  • Medi-Cal, which provides free or low-cost medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources
  • WIC, which provides low-income families with nutrition education, breastfeeding support, vouchers for healthy foods, and referrals to healthcare and other community services

Do I have to respond to the census?

If you live in the United States, you are required by law to participate in the 2020 census count.

An invitation to complete your 2020 census questionnaire should arrive in the mail in March. Some households may receive an invitation accompanied by a paper questionnaire. Every household will have the option of responding online, by phone, or by mail.

If you don’t receive a census invitation by mail, a census worker will deliver it to your residence in person. The census will follow up in person with all households that have not responded to the census.

After multiple failed attempts to contact a household, census workers will seek out proxy sources—a neighbor, property manager, or some other knowledgeable person—who can provide as much information as possible for the nonresponding household.

How to Respond Online (step-by-step video)
How to Respond by Mail

You may first receive information explaining how to respond to the census online. The Census Bureau will automatically send you a paper form in about two weeks if you do not complete the questionnaire online.

Use a pen with blue or black ink, or a #2 pencil to fill out the form. Mail it back in the postage-paid return envelope. If you have trouble answering a question, call the Census Bureau at 1-800-354-7271 for help.

You do not need to mail the paper questionnaire back if you submitted your census responses online or by telephone.

If you have lost the envelope, send your completed questionnaire to:

U.S. Census Bureau
P.O. Box 5240
Jeffersonville, IN 47199-5240

How to Respond by Phone

Call toll-free 1-800-354-7271.

¿Necesita ayuda? Llame 1-877-833-5625.    

Note: For callers with hearing loss, you can reach the number above using the state or national relay services (a.k.a. TRS) based on your mode of communication preference (TTY, VCO, CapTel, Videophone, etc.).

The Census Bureau may call you if they don’t receive your responses to the census online or by mail, or if you leave questions blank. You may also receive a call if you respond by mail and have six or more people living at your address. The mail-in form only has room for five.

If someone has contacted you about the 2020 census survey and you'd like to verify that the phone call is legitimate, you can call one of the following telephone centers directly:

  • Jeffersonville, IN: 1-800-523-3205
  • Tucson, AZ: 1-800-642-0469

Who should I count?

When filling out your census questionnaire, you should count everyone (citizen and non-citizen) who lives and sleeps at your residence most of the time as of April 1, 2020. This includes newborns, young children, college students, spouses, significant others, extended family members, housemates, caregivers, and anyone renting space in your home or on your property.

How does the Census Bureau count people experiencing homelessness?

The Census Bureau will devote three days to counting people experiencing homelessness, with checks in place to ensure that people aren’t counted more than once.

  • March 30, 2020: Counting people who are in shelters.
  • March 31, 2020: Counting people at soup kitchens and mobile food vans.
  • April 1, 2020: Counting people in non-sheltered, outdoor locations, such as tent encampments and on the streets.

Learn more about the Census Bureau’s efforts to count the homeless.

Is the census safe?

The Census Bureau is required by law to protect any personal information. The answers you provide on your census questionnaire can only be used to produce statistics. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share your information with immigration enforcement agencies, law enforcement agencies, or allow it to be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits.

Will there be a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire?

No. The Supreme Court and other courts have permanently blocked the government from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Is the census accessible for older adults and people with disabilities?

Yes, the 2020 census is accessible for everyone. We can only ensure our fair share of federal resources and representation when every Pasadena resident is counted.

The Census Bureau will NEVER ask you for:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers.

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate.

Hard to Count

Hard To Count Fact Sheet and Map - Pasadena

Hard To Count Populations include:

Renters, young men, children, African Americans, and Latinos (totals 72% of California population)

Census boundaries for hard to count area of Pasadena. Washington to the North, Colorado to the South, Los Robles to the East and Fair Oaks/Orange Grove/210 to the West.

Census data determines the distribution of over $675 billion in federal funds each year to support vital community services, including programs that help our students. Some of those programs provide support for children with special needs and those from low-income families. Federal funds allocated by census data help schools reduce class sizes, hire specialists, and ensure that hungry students can get breakfast or lunch to help them focus in class. When Pasadena children and their families are left out of the census count, it’s unlikely schools and community programs will receive the resources needed to support their success and well-being.


Address Canvassing for the 2020 Census

How the U.S. Census works?


Census 2020 schedule of EventsFEBRUARY 15, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Black History Parade & Festival
| Robinson Park

MARCH 7, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Jump Into Census! | Villa-Parke Community Center, 363 E. Villa St.
Join us as we kick off the 2020 census count with a free, family-friendly event featuring crafts, live entertainment, activities, giveaways, light refreshments, and a sneak peek at the City’s summer programming like day camps, aquatics, and summer reading. For more information, call (626) 744-7311.

MARCH 12-20
Invitations to complete the 2020 census questionnaire online will be mailed.

MARCH 16-24
Reminder letters will be mailed.

MARCH 21, 2 - 6 p.m.
Census Block Party
| Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena, 2020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Details coming soon.

Reminder postcard will be mailed.

MARCH 28, noon – 3 p.m.
Community Census Fair | Kings Villages Apartments, 1141 N. Fair Oaks Ave.

APRIL 1, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Breakfast with the Census | Jackie Robinson Community Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Join us in celebrating Census Day! Enjoy free refreshments, giveaways, and guest speakers. For more information, call (626) 744-7311.

APRIL 1, 10 a.m. - noon
Breakfast with the Census
| Villa-Parke Community Center, 363 E. Villa St.
Join us in celebrating Census Day! Enjoy free refreshments, giveaways, and guest speakers. For more information, call (626) 744-7311.

APRIL 8-16
Another reminder and hard copy questionnaire will be mailed.

APRIL 18, 9 a.m. - noon
Kinder Counts!
| Madison Elementary, 515 E. Ashtabula St.
This event is geared toward families in the community, especially those with children ages 5 and under—one of the largest undercounted populations in the country. Check back soon for event details.

APRIL 20-27
Final postcards will be mailed before an in-person follow-up.

APRIL 29, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Día Del Niño | La Pintoresca Branch Library and Park, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.
Details coming soon.