Counting every person living in the United States is a massive undertaking, and efforts begin years in advance. Here's a look at some of the key dates along the way, as they are currently scheduled:
- January 21: The Census Bureau started counting the population in remote Alaska. The count officially began in the rural Alaskan village of Toksook Bay.
- March 12 - March 20: Households received official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.
- April 1: This is Census Day, a key reference date for the 2020 Census—not a deadline. We use this day to determine who is counted and where in the 2020 Census. When you respond, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020, and include everyone who usually lives and sleeps in your home. You can respond before or after that date. We encourage you to respond as soon as you can.
- April 29 – May 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at nonsheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
- April 16 – June 19: Census takers will work with administrators at colleges, senior centers, prisons, and other facilities that house large groups of people to make sure everyone is counted.
- May 27 – August 14: Census takers will interview homes that haven't responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
- December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.
- March 31: By this date, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to the states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.
- January - September: The U.S. Census Bureau opened more than 200 area census offices across the country. These offices support and manage the census takers who work all over the country to conduct the census.
- August - October: Census workers visited areas that have experienced a lot of change and growth to ensure that the Census Bureau's address list is up to date. This process is called address canvassing, and it helps to make sure everyone receives an invitation to participate in the census.
Why Does the Census Bureau Refer to April 1?
April 1 is a key reference date for the 2020 Census. When completing the census, you will include everyone living in your home on April 1, 2020. You can choose to respond before or after April 1.
**Information obtained from census.gov**