In our community, we believe every person counts. And we believe every person should get their fair share — especially little kids. A major way our community receives money for child and family programs is by participating in the U.S. Census. The state and federal government use census information to decide where money for programs like child care, free school lunches, and Medi-Cal will go.
Here are just a few reasons why your participation in the census matters:
- When you and your children are part of the census count, the community receives its fair share of money for important programs like Medi-Cal, WIC, Head Start, the National School Lunch Program, CHIP, and child care.
- For every person not counted, the community loses an average of $20,000 over 10 years.
- The number of people your state has in Congress is based on the census count.
Here is how it works:
- In March 2020, you will get a census reminder in the mail.
- Complete the census form online, or request a paper form.
- Submit your online form, or mail in your paper form.
About one million kids under age 5 were NOT counted in the last census.
Please be counted so your community gets the funding and services it deserves!
Common Questions about the Census
Are my answers private?
YES. By law, your response to the Census CANNOT BE SHARED with anyone outside the census. This includes ICE (immigration), police, CPS (Child Protective Services), the IRS, the FBI, your landlord, or anyone else. No one can use your census answers to reduce your benefits, evict you, deport you, fine you, or take your children.
Can I skip questions?
Complete all questions if you can. And please make sure everyone in your household is counted — every adult, child, and baby.
How can I take the census?
You have options. You can fill out the census on a computer (at home or a library), over the phone, or on paper. For help in requesting a paper census form, call 1-877-EL-CENSO.
How long does it take?
About 3–5 minutes per person being counted.
What if my child is a baby — do I list him or her on the census?
YES. Please list your baby no matter how old — even if you are still in the hospital! I am pregnant — how should I note this? Include yourself and a child if your due date is on or after April 1, 2020.
I have kids living with me who aren’t mine — do I list them?
YES. You should count any child who is living at your address, even if only temporarily, on April 1, 2020.
I have more people living with me than my landlord knows. I shouldn’t list them, should I?
Everyone should be listed. The census will not report your answers to your landlord or anyone else. Please make sure all people in your household are counted who live there on April 1st, 2020.
I am not in the country legally. Should I take the census?
YES. By law, the census cannot report your answers to any immigration authorities, law enforcement, or people in charge of government benefits. Everyone in the U.S. at the time of the census should be counted, no matter the citizenship or immigration status.
My child doesn’t live with me all the time — do I list him or her?
It depends. Whomever your child lives with most of the time should count your child. If time is split evenly, the adult who has the child on April 1, 2020 should count the child.
Your answers to the census are 100% private and are not shared with anyone.
Written by First 5 Association of California and the California Census 2020.