Census@Stanford: Help with Census outreach on campus and in the community!

Everyone counts. Once a decade, the United States takes a census to gather valuable statistics that impact the apportioning of congressional seats, redistricting, and distribution of federal funds to support vital programs like housing, education, transportation, health care, and more. For the first time ever, people can participate in the U.S. Census online, as well as by mail or by phone. The U.S. Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories, regardless of immigration status, housing status, political affiliation, or age. Census efforts from individuals like you are crucial in order to ensure equitable representation.

Help spread the word about the 2020 Census by sharing on your Instagram or Facebook story or adding a temporary profile picture on your Facebook.


How should I respond to the Census?

  • All students who lived in university housing as of March 1 will be counted in the U.S. Census by the university. The Census Bureau will also screen out duplicates, such as graduate students who have already responded to mailed Census questionnaires. Students who lived in university housing do not need to take any further action.

  • Everyone else: In March, you should have received detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census for your household. Respond online, by phone, or by mail. Learn more at 2020census.gov.

Why does the Census matter?

  • Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year.

  • The results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

  • It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.

Who should respond to the Census?

  • Everyone living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.

  • Each household should fill out the Census for everyone living in their home as of April 1, 2020, including all family members, friends, roommates, and anyone else who lives and sleeps at the residence most of the time.

  • College students who are living at home should be counted at their home address.

  • College students who live away from home should be counted at the on- or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time, even if they are at home on April 1, 2020.

  • Non-U.S. Citizens: Foreign students living and attending college in the United States should be counted at the on- or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time.

  • U.S. college students who are living and attending college outside the United States are not counted in the census.

Data Privacy & Security

The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential. Under Title 13, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures that your private data is protected and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous: The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.

Important Dates

Please note that the Census schedule has changed due to COVID-19. See the guide from census.gov for full information.


After October 31, Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven't responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.

How Can I Get Involved?

  • Participate in the Census

  • Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to accurately respond to the Census

  • Apply for a job as a Census Taker in your community



Questions about the 2020 Census? Read the 2020 Census FAQs or contact the U.S. Census Bureau for support.

*Information has been adapted from the U.S. Census website.

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