Esri Demographics

Census 2020 Kickoff

Census Day

The Census Bureau has been conducting an annual count of the U.S. population every ten years since 1790. This is the largest peacetime operation conducted by the U.S. government. April 1st marks the official Census Day of the United States Census 2020.

How to Respond

From March 12th to March 20th, your household will receive an invitation in the mail to respond to the Census. For the first time, you will have the option to respond online. You will receive a unique Census ID for completing the questionnaire online. You can also respond by phone or mail as in prior Censuses. From May through July, Census enumerators will visit all homes that have yet to respond. This is the most expensive operational component of the Census. Do your part and respond promptly so the Census Bureau doesn’t send an enumerator to your door.

Data Collected

The goal of the Census is to “count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.” The decennial census form is very short, asking fewer than ten questions per person in your household. These questions are about you and everyone living with you on April 1, 2020. You can see what the form looks like here. There is no question regarding citizenship status on the 2020 Census form.


This count is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and determines Congressional apportionment as well as the redrawing of legislative districts. Participation is also critical to ensure your community receives its share of federal funding for schools, fire departments, roads, and many other federal and local programs. Census data are instrumental for a myriad of federal assistance programs. Around $675 billion dollars are allocated each year based on data collected through the decennial census. An accurate count will help shape the future of your community!

Privacy Protected

Your data are confidential. The Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your information. Title 13 of the U.S. Code ensures that The Bureau will not release any personally identifiable information about you or your family.

Challenge Your Friends and Neighbors

The decennial census strives for improvements in response rates each decade. Talk with your friends and neighbors about the importance of an accurate Census count. Encourage them to reply promptly and challenge them to beat their community’s response rates from 2010.

Explore the map to see how your community participated in 2010 and aim to beat those numbers!
Click the map to launch the application and then search your address.

Learn more about Census 2010 participation and mail return rates here.

Esri and the Census

Esri and the Census Bureau have a rich history of working together. Census 2020 relies on Esri technology to ensure an accurate count. Watch the video below to learn how the Census Bureau is using GIS to improve Census 2020.

Esri is committed to providing our users with access to Census 2020 data across the Esri platform. Stay tuned for more Esri blogs discussing Census 2020 topics.

About the author

Kyle R. Cassal, Chief Demographer at Esri, is the lead developer for Esri’s Data Development team. His team is responsible for producing independent demographic and socioeconomic updates and forecasts for the United States. These data are leveraged across the Esri platform through web maps, infographics, data enrichment and custom applications including Business Analyst and the Living Atlas of the World. In addition to processing US Census and ACS data, his team produces unique and innovative databases such as Tapestry Segmentation, Consumer Spending and Market Potential which are now industry benchmarks.

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