The 2020 Census will start on March 12 and be completed by the end of August. This decennial population count is mandated by the US Constitution. The results of this population count are critically important to individuals, our local communities, and Massachusetts. The population count will determine:
- The number of representatives Massachusetts will have in Congress and in the Electoral College.
- Redistricting maps that will be drawn in 2021 for the US House of Representatives, the state legislature, local school districts for schools, and city councils. These districts will define our election maps for the next ten years.
- Allocation of $600 billion of federal funds annually for programs such as Medicare/Medicaid, housing programs, transportation programs, education programs, and SNAP. Massachusetts received $22 billion in 2016 based on 2010 Census results. These funds are a benefit to every resident of Massachusetts.
A complete count in the 2020 Census is important so that Massachusetts and its residents are fairly represented in our federal, state, and local governments and to ensure receipt of our fair share of federal funds allocated to states, cities, towns, and schools.
You and your local League can help ensure a complete count by pledging to be counted and working within your community to educate and encourage others to participate. You can find your local Complete Count Committee here or you can start your own complete count committee using the resources provided in this toolkit.
Timeline for Key Census Activities
January-March 12: Inform public about census/Encourage participation/Form or join complete count committees.
March 12: Self response period starts–online, by phone, or by mail in form. All households will receive a letter inviting all households to respond online.
April 1: Census Day–promote participation in the Census in your community.
April: Group quarters will be counted (i.e., College student living quarters, group housing, assisted living centers, prisons, homeless shelters). More information available here.
May 13: Nonresponse Follow-up will begin.
Late August: Nonresponse Follow-up ends.
The Census form has 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete.
There will not be a question about citizenship on the form.
- View the Census Form here.
- Video on how to complete the Census form online
- Step by step guides in 60 languages
- The Internet Self-Response Portal: What to Expect
- Draft of Census Mailing Materials
- LWV Census Action Kit
- US Census Bureau Community Outreach Toolkit
- US Census Bureau YouTube Channel
- Massachusetts Libraries Census Toolkit
- Census pledge-to-count cards
- What can non-profits do
- US Census Bureau PSA Toolkit
- US Census Bureau Outreach Materials
- Question and Answers for Stakeholders Supporting the 2020 Census
- Census Neighborhood flyer to respond by phone in 12 languages: full page and half page
- Census Bureau’s interactive self response rate map
- Census Bureau Virtual Media Tool Kit
- MassCounts & Statewide Complete Count Committee Census Week of Action Toolkit
Information and flyers on Census Scams and Disinformation
- The Census Trust & Safety Team, Protecting the Count in 2020
- 2020 Census: Protecting Yourself Against Scams
- What is Disinformation? And What You Can Do
- Detecting Disinformation
- 2020 Census: Security and Privacy Explained
- Modified Operations to Make Sure College Students are Counted
- How to shift Get out the Count efforts
- Census Bureau Operational Adjustments due to coronavirus
2020 Census FAQ’s
Census Protection Hotline Partner Toolkit
2020 Census Webinar
- Watch the LWVMA 2020 Census webinar featuring Carly Bari, Partnership Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau and the “Shape Your Future: The 2020 Census” video that Carly refers to in the webinar.
- Email Carly Bari with your census related questions.