News & Announcements

NOVA News/Highlights

Posted on: March 3, 2020

2020 Census Self-Response Participation Rates

US Census School Children

The US Census is now underway. The Census Bureau has mailed to most every household in the United States a letter inviting them to complete the Census. The Census can be completed on-line, via phone or mail. 

Click on the map for the self-response rates for our region. Self-response indicates the response from households without having been contacted with a personal visit at home by census takers.

Map of Virginia

Census results shape the future of communities, as census data informs how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years. It is critical that every household in our region and Commonwealth complete their census form.

Your Privacy

The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential.

Under Title 13, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures that your private data is protected and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous: The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.

Importance of the Data

Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children. The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. 

The Census Will Never Ask Certain Questions

During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers.

Additionally, there is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate. For more information, visit Avoiding Fraud and Scams.

If you still have questions about their identity, you can contact your Regional Census Center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

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