What is the 2020 Census?

  • The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States.
  • A census is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.
  • It takes place every 10 years.  2020 is our next census.


Why Does it Matter?

  • The Census Bureau gathers data that will impact you and your community in Cook County.
  • The data is used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities in areas such as transportation, healthcare and affordable housing, to name a few. One example is the Community Development Block Grant Program.
  • An accurate census helps ensure fair representation at all levels of government – congressional districts, commissioner districts and wards.

Essential Facts

  • By Census Day, April 1, 2020, households will be invited to participate in the 2020 Census, with options for responding. You can be counted by mail, online or phone.  If you don’t have access to the internet in your home, you can use the computer in your public library.
  • You don’t have to speak English to participate in the 2020 Census.
  • Cook County will make a serious effort to reach out to underserved communities, proactively involving community organizations, elected officials, public libraries and community colleges. We will also be executing an RFP to secure the services of a vendor to help with our efforts
  • By law, the Census Bureau must keep your identification information and responses confidential.  Learn more from the Census Bureau on this topic:

The 2020 Census and Confidentiality [Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

El Censo del 2020 y la Confidencialidad [Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

What’s Next?

What to expect from the Census Bureau:

  • January – March 2019: The U.S. Census Bureau opens 39 area census offices. These offices open early to support Address Canvassing.
  • June – September 2019: The Census Bureau opens the remaining 209 area census offices. The offices support and manage the census takers who work all over the country to conduct the census.
  • August 2019: The Census Bureau conducts in-field address canvassing. Census takers visit areas that have added or lost housing in recent years to ensure that the Census Bureau's address list is up to date.
  • January 2020: The Census Bureau begins counting the population in remote Alaska.
  • April 1, 2020: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census, with options for responding.
  • April 2020: Census takers begin following up with households around selected colleges and universities. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews.
  • May 2020: The Census Bureau begins following up with households that have not responded.
  • December 2020: The Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the president.

Check back for outreach events and social media updates. We will be updating this page regularly with the latest 2020 Census information.