Frequently Asked Questions

I am a renter?
The Census questionnaire is designed to capture residents where they live at the time of submission. Even if your housing situation is temporary, you should fill out the census using the address you sleep at on that day. Additionally, it is important that your entire residence be included in this count; be sure to coordinate with your roommates/housemates so that everyone is marked down.
I am a student?
For students attending boarding school or commuting to college from home, you should be counted at your parent or guardian’s home address. For college students living on or near campus, you should be counted where you eat and sleep most of the time, even if you are home or on break on Census Day!
Foreign students attending school in the United States should count themselves at their on or off-campus residence. On the flip side, American students studying internationally should not be counted as they are not currently living in the country.
Multiple family units live at my address?
The census questionnaire is designed to capture residents where they live at the time of submission. It is important that everyone at your address be counted where they are – however temporary, however crowded. Even if one family is upstairs and a different family is downstairs, or one family is in the main house and another is in the back house, everyone should be counted! 
Please note that this information is used only for statistical and funding purposes.None of this information will be shared with landlords, law enforcement, immigration agencies, or the Internal Revenue Service

The 2020 Census will begin online March 12, 2020 and stay open through April 30, 2020. Beginning in May, the United States Census Bureau will send census takers door to door to county people who did not respond by the April 30, due date. 

The results of the Census are used for three main purposes: representation, federal funding, and data. 


It is critically important to count every person in the United States so that the government can ensure all residents get proper representation. Census counts determine how many Congressmembers each state gets in the House of Representatives and congressional, state senate, and state assembly district lines are drawn based on the amount of people in any given area. 

Federal Funding 

Census data determines how more than $675 billion of the federal budget gets spent across the nation every year. In California specifically, a third of our state budget comes from the federal government to pay for programs like Medi-Cal, public education, housing infrastructure and housing assistance programs.


Most of the information we have about our residents, comes from the Census. It’s critically important to have accurate information about our residents to better understand the needs of our communities. For example, knowing how many children are under the age of five years in the Inland Empire helps us tailor and target our children’s programs to the areas most in need. 

Hard to count, or hard to reach, people are those who have a history of not participating in the Census. There are a great number of factors that could influence someone responding or not responding to the Census, including but not limited to: 

  • Communities of Color – Latinx, Black and African Americans, Native Americans and tribal communities, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Middle Eastern and North Africans 
  • Immigrants and Refugees 
  • Farm-workers 
  • People with Disabilities 
  • LGBTQ identifying people
  • Seniors/Older Adults 
  • Children 0-5 
  • Homeless individuals and families
  • Veterans 
  • Areas with low/no broadband subscriptions
  • Households with limited English proficiency 

Yes, it is required by federal law to truthfully answer and return the Census questionnaire. People who do not respond by April 30 or submit an incomplete survey are subject to being visited in person by a federal census taker.

Yes! Title 13 of the United States Code requires the Census Bureau to keep your information confidential and use your responses only to produce statistics. The government cannot publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you. They also cannot share your information with immigration enforcement agencies such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or police, or allow it to be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits. Any violation of this law can result in imprisonment up to 5 years and/or a fine up to $250,000. 

Census Day is a nationally observed day to acknowledge census enumeration. Census Day is April 1, 2020 . By this date, all households should have been mailed instructions on how to respond.

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