What is the Census?
The Decennial Census (Census) is a full count of United States residents, which includes all people who live in the United States. The Census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every ten years, and is mandated under Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution.
After acquiring data from households in the U.S., the Census Bureau aggregates those data to protect individual identities and disseminates the results to the President, the states, and the American people. Census data are most prominently used to:
- Apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
- Distribute over $675 billion federal dollars to state and local governments
- Redistrict at the federal, state, and local levels
- Provide statistical support for grant applications
- Help communities, like the City of Alexandria, plan for future needs
The Census Bureau continually innovates its data collection processes to improve the accuracy of their data and reduce the burden on residents. For more information on the 2020 Census, visit the U.S. Census Bureau webpage.
The City of Alexandria's Complete Count Committee is supporting the 2020 Census by motivating all Alexandria residents to participate in the Census. The Committee welcomes Alexandria residents, businesses, and organizations to participate in Census outreach efforts.
How will the Census affect me?
Around March 2020, all residential addresses will receive a form in the mail from the Census Bureau asking for information on all residents living in your household, including all family members and non-family members who are living with you. Residents may respond by mail, online, or over the phone depending on their preference. Census Day is April 1, 2020; households that have not participated in the Census by this point may be contacted by a Census Bureau representative.
Any information you share with the Census Bureau is strictly confidential. By law the Census Bureau cannot share individual responses with anyone, including any court of law, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, state or federal welfare departments, or governments and programs. The Census Bureau only uses individual responses to produce summary statistics, which further protects individuals from being identified inadvertently.
The Census Bureau is currently hiring representatives to support the 2020 Census. For more information on employment opportunities, visit the U.S. Census Bureau webpage.
The City of Alexandria is committed to making that sure all residents are counted in the 2020 Census. An accurate count ensures that Alexandria residents are fairly represented in federal and state government, and that Alexandria's communities get their fair share of federal resources for the next ten years.
Since 2000, the City of Alexandria has supported the U.S. Census Bureau’s data collection activities by establishing a Complete Count Committee. Complete Count Committees are local organizations that encourage local residents to participate in the Census.
For 2020, the Alexandria Complete Count Committee will encourage all residents to participate in the 2020 Census. They will focus extra attention on engaging Alexandria communities that have historically been undercounted. These groups include racial and ethnic minority groups, renters, children under the age of 5, communities in Arlandria, and communities in the West End.
City of Alexandria Joins Supreme Court Brief in Support of Fair 2020 Census
The City of Alexandria is one of 190 cities, counties, and state and local officials around the country represented in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census. The brief, filed on April 1 in support of plaintiffs in the case Department of Commerce v. New York, argues that the addition of a citizenship question will significantly impair the accuracy of the count, which determines the allocation of more than $900 billion of federal funding.
The City of Alexandria further opposed the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census by issuing Resolution No. 2874. In this resolution, the City calls on its congressional representatives to urge members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to oppose the addition of the citizenship question and conduct oversight hearings on the Secretary of Commerce's decision to include it. The City will continue to oppose the addition of the citizenship question going forward.
- City of Alexandria Census 2020 1-pager
- US Census Bureau 2020 Census website
Contact Sierra Latham, Urban Planner and Demographer, 703.746.3832.