Make 2020 Census Count, Palo Alto!

The U.S. Census count is coming and we need to make sure that everyone in Palo Alto is counted, so we get our share of federal funds for schools, roads and more!

What is the Census?

The Census is a count of every person living in the United States.  This count takes place every 10 years and the numbers that are gathered are used for making all kinds of decisions, ranging from the number of congressional representatives each state receives to funding for government services and programs.

Why is it important?

Conducting a census every 10 years is a rule written into our Constitution.  Having an accurate count of the number of people living in the country allows for each state to have a number of Representatives in Congress that reflects the number of people living in the state.  For example, California currently has 53 representatives in the House of Representatives while Wyoming only has one.  In addition to establishing the number of Representatives a state can have, the statistics gathered from the census are also used for planning and distributing federal support for large projects like transportation and housing.

How do I participate?

In Spring 2020, all residences should receive a mailed invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will be able to respond online, by phone, or by mail.The census form should take about 10 minutes to complete.  

What else should I know?

Avoid scams! During the 2020 Census, 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.

When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics.

Learn more about the U.S. Census:

Keep an eye out for Census workshops and staff at our branches in the next few months. Census staff are available to answer any of your questions! 


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