Whether you are homeless, live in an apartment, or own your home, your response to the 2020 Census is required by law and is critical to the future of our community.

Stephanie Spivak, who works on programs and outreach for the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, said she wants to make sure the hardest to count are included in the 2020 Census.

“This could be someone who is homeless, a college student, anyone who moves around a lot or is distrustful of the government,” Spivak said. “This includes people with no access to a phone or to the internet.”

Census data is important because it determines how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years.

The 2020 Census will also determine how many seats each state gets in Congress. State and local officials also use census counts to draw boundaries for congressional, state legislative, and school districts.

Citizens are given several opportunities to make themselves count, but we urge you to fill out a form at your earliest convenience.

Key Dates for 2020 Census

  • March 12 – 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.


  • March 30 – April 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 non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.


  • April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.



  • May – July: Census takers will begin visiting 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.

You can help make sure the 2020 Census is accurate by inspiring others to fill out the form. Tell everyone—your friends and family, your neighbors and co-workers—that you will complete the census, and tell them why it’s important that they respond as well.

For more information please visit census.gov