2020 Census Everyone Counts!

Much of the funding that comes from the Census helps the most vulnerable among us. It provides health care, education, food and nutrition programs, housing and child care for families.

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories—once, only once, and in the right place. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census is conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency.

The population totals from the census determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives. The North Carolina General Assembly uses the data to redraw its legislative districts for the state House and state Senate.

The Census has a big impact on the services that Chapel Hill and its neighborhoods receive. That is why we need an equitable and complete count.

In Orange County, Everyone Counts!

Why it Matters

Hospitals. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of your community. Each year, the results help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities. 

What to Expect in 2020

By April 2020, households will receive an invitation to participate in the census. You’ll then have three options to respond: online, by mail, or by phone. We’ll mark Census Day on April 1, 2020, with events across the country. This is a key date for the 2020 count: When completing the census, you’ll note where you are living on April 1.

Click here to view or download a sample Census questionnaire.

Click here to view or download the sample invitation letter that will be mailed to all households. 

When is the census?

The U.S. Census Bureau will mail postcards to every household in the United States starting in March 2020. The postcard will request each household to complete the survey by Census Day on April 1, 2020.

The Questions

The census survey will ask the name, sex, age, date of birth, race/ethnicity and relationship of everyone in your household. It will also ask if you rent or own your home. For more information on what you will be asked on the census, see the 2020 Census Website.

Will the census ask for my citizenship status?

No, the 2020 Census will not ask a question about citizenship. The federal government has now been permanently prevented from asking the citizenship question as part of the 2020 Census in any form.

Who should I count in my census response?

You should count anyone who is living and sleeping in your home most of the time. This includes both related family members and unrelated people, such as foster children, friends, tenants or live-in employees. For more information, see the 2020 Census Website.

Are children included in the census?

Yes! It is important to count any children living in your housing unit most of the time. This includes children who split their time between households, newborn babies and other children who may live with you like grandchildren, the children of friends, or nieces and nephews.

Getting Counted

How do I complete the census?

There are three ways you can fill out the census survey: online, by telephone, or by mail. Households can answer the questions on the Internet or by phone in English and 12 other languages.

When should I look for my census invitation in the mail?

Starting in March 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will mail postcards to every household in the United States. You should receive your postcard by April 1, 2020.

How do I access the online survey if I don’t have Internet access at home?

The Orange County Complete Count Committee has established locations across the county such as libraries and community centers where you can access a computer and online assistance early in 2020.

When can I go online and fill out the census survey?

You will receive a postcard by April 1, 2020 directing you to fill out the census online. At that time, you can go online to complete the census.

Is there a phone number I can call for help filling out my census?

Yes. You can call the U.S. Census Bureau Call Center: (301) 763-INFO (4636) or (800) 923-8282.

What happens if I don’t respond to the census on time?

If you do not respond to the census by April 2020, you will be mailed a printed questionnaire to return by mail. In May 2020, Census Bureau employees will visit households that have not completed the census to assist you in filling out the census in-person.

Will a census worker come to my residence?

If your household does NOT submit a completed census survey by the end of April 2020, a Census Bureau employee will visit your residence to assist you in filling out the census in-person. This person will ask you the same questions that will appear in the online version of the census. For more information on Census Bureau employees,see the 2020 Census Website. 

Language Access 

Will the census be available in languages other than English?

Yes! The survey will be offered in 13 languages online and by phone, including English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese. The paper census surveys will only be available in English and Spanish.

Safety and Privacy

 Is the census confidential?

Yes. Responses to the census are confidential. Census information is used for statistical purposes only.

 Can another government agency access my census information?

No. Your responses cannot be used against you by any government agency, including law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Can my census responses affect my eligibility for government benefits?

No. Your responses to the census are confidential and will not affect your eligibility for any government benefits.

Can U.S. Census Bureau workers share my information?

It is illegal for the Census Bureau to share your information. Your information is confidential. U.S. Census Bureau workers who have access to your personal information are sworn for life to protect confidentiality and are subject to a $250,000 fine and/or up to five years in federal prison for the wrongful disclosure of information.

Do I need a Social Security number to complete the census?

No. The census will never ask for a social security number.

Is it safe to submit my personal information to the U.S. Census Bureau online?

Yes! All responses submitted online are encrypted to protect your personal privacy. To learn more about the Census Bureau’s data protection and privacy program,see the 2020 Census Website

Be Counted Site Map

Be counted sites

For the first time, residents will be able to respond to the Census online. The following locations offer free public computers for residents to respond to the Census online. Hours vary by location. Please click on the link and check the hours before visiting.

Be Counted Sites

Map Location Address City
A Cedar Grove Community Center Here 5800 NC Highway 86 N


J Chapel Hill Library  100 Library Drive

Chapel Hill
F Durham Technical College Orange County Campus 525 College Park Road Hillsborough
B Efland Cheeks Community Center 117 Richmond Road Elfland

L Hargraves Center 216 N Roberson Street

Chapel Hill
D  Hillsborough Town Hall 101 E. Orange St. Hillsborough
C  Orange County Main Library 137 W Margaret Lane Hillsborough
K Orange County Cybrary 100 N Greensboro Street Carrboro
I McDougle Middle School Library 900 Old Fayetteville Road

Chapel Hill
E Passmore Center 103 Meadowlands Drive Hillsborough
G Rogers Road Community Center 101 Edgar Street Chapel Hill
H Seymour Center 2551 Homestead Road Chapel Hill


Key dates for the 2020 Census

  • Jan. 21, 2020 -- First enumeration of the 2020 Census officially begins January 21, 2020, in Toksook Bay, Alaska.
  • March 12-20, 2020 -- Census Bureau will mail invitations to respond to nearly every household in the country and activate the online response form.
  • March 16-24, 2020 -- Reminder letters will be sent
  • March 26-April 3, 2020 -- Reminder postcards sent to those who have not responded
  • April 1, 2020 -- Census Day. You will fill out the questionnaire based on where you were living on this day.
  • April 8-16,2020 -- Reminder letter and paper questionnaire sent to those who have not responded
  • April 20-27 -- Final reminder postcards sent before in-person follow-ups begin
  • December 31, 2020 -- Final 2020 Census results will be delivered to the President of the United States

2020 Census PSA: Census Made Simple