According to the U.S. Census Bureau, young children (children under the age of five) are among the most difficult members of our population to count. The Census Bureau is seeking help from school districts in making sure every single child gets counted in the 2020 Census. We’ve gathered some information about the 2020 Census you can share with your schools and families so they can be well informed of the importance of being counted in the census this year.

The U.S. Census is a simple questionnaire that helps federal and local governments understand where people live and how many people live there. Census facts inform local funding for programs that benefit children and families—particularly low-income children and families—such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), the National School Lunch Program, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). When fewer children are counted in the census than actually live in a certain area, access to these critical programs can be limited.

The U.S. Census is only taken every 10 years, which is why it’s critical that everyone gets counted. New in 2020, individuals will be able to complete the census online. The link to respond will be made available in March.

Important Dates

  • 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.
  • 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.

For a full calendar of dates, visit the 2020 Census website. For more information about counting young children in the census, download Counting Young Children in the 2020 Census (PDF).

Educator Resources

The Census Bureau has a website with lots of useful information and resources for sharing information about the census. Teachers can visit the educator’s page for ideas on incorporating information about the census into existing lesson plans. In addition, March 2-6 is Statistics in Schools (SIS) Week. Visit the census website for ways celebrate and build awareness in your classroom!