News Flash

City of Coralville News

Posted on: March 13, 2020

Check Your Mail for Your 2020 Census Invitation

United States Census 2020

***Updated April 14, 2020 to include information about in-person 2020 Census operations***


The census is a count of every person who lives in the United States and its territories. It happens every 10 years. In early 2020, you will be asked to count everyone who lives in your home as of April 1. Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape your future.

Households will receive an invitation in the mail. Every household has the option of responding online, by phone, or by mail. Reminders will be sent to households that haven’t responded.

Census mailing 1 frontExample of Census invitation mailed to households March 12-20

Responding is easy

  1. In March, your household will receive an invitation in the mail, inviting you to respond online or by phone.
  2. Go to my2020census.gov to access the questionnaire. You will use a Census ID code from the mailing (if you misplace your code, you can still complete the census). You can use a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Completing your response will take ten minutes or less.
  3. That’s it! 

What if I don’t have internet access? 

Bring your mailed census invitation to a public library in Johnson County. Computers will be available to complete the census.

What if I need help or speak a different language?

When you respond online, the website will guide you through each census question. The census form will be available in English and 12 additional languages. Videos and guides to the form are available in 59 languages.

Who counts in your household?

  • Count every person living or staying in your home on April 1, regardless of their nationality or living situation, and no matter where they are from, what language they speak, or citizenship status.
  • People without a permanent residence who are staying temporarily with a friend or family on April 1 should be counted at that address.
  • If you are a renter, count yourself where you live. Don’t forget any family or roommates living there. Everyone needs to be counted.
  • Count all children, including babies, who usually live and sleep at your home. If they split time evenly between two households, count them where they are on April 1.
  • Count newborn babies at the home where they will live and sleep most of the time, even if they are still in the hospital on April 1.
  • College students not living in a dorm should be counted at their off-campus address, even if they go to their parents’ home for school breaks.
  • If you recently moved, count yourself at your new address if you moved by April 1.
  • Service members who don’t live in military barracks and aren’t deployed or stationed outside the U.S. should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time.
  • Residents of a group facility: the Census Bureau will work with representatives to ensure people living in college dorms, nursing homes, group homes, shelters, psychiatric facilities, correctional facilities, and military barracks are counted.

What to expect

What you will get in the mail:

  • March 12-20: An invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census.  
  • March 16-24: A reminder letter.*
  • March 26-April 3: A reminder postcard.*
  • April 8-16: A reminder letter and paper questionnaire.*
  • April 20-27: A final reminder postcard before Census workers follow up in person*

*Sent to those who haven’t responded to previous mailings

What if I don’t respond?

If you do not respond online, by phone, or mail, Census workers will follow up in person beginning in June with households that haven’t responded.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations to protect the health and safety of the public and Census Bureau employees. In-person activities, including all interaction with the public, enumeration, office work, and processing activities, will incorporate the most current guidance to promote the health and safety of staff and the public. This will include recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing practices.

What will I be asked?  

You will be asked a few simple questions, like age, sex, and the number of people living in your home, including children.

What won’t be asked? 

The census will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything related to political parties. There will not be a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census.

What’s in it for me?

  • Responding to the census directly benefits our community. Your responses inform where over $675 billion is distributed each year to communities nationwide for clinics, schools, roads, and more. It impacts funding for education programs and grants, public transportation,libraries, Medicare and Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, school meal programs, parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities.
  • Census data gives community leaders vital information to make decisions about building community centers, opening businesses, and planning for the future.
  • Your responses are used to redraw legislative districts and determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Responding fulfills your civic duty because it’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.

Who is in charge of the 2020 Census? 

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the census. Cities, counties, libraries, universities, and even some non- profit organizations help inform residents about the census.

Is my information safe?

All responses submitted online are encrypted to protect your privacy. Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. They cannot be used against you by landlords, any government agency, or court in any way—not by the FBI, not by the CIA, not by the DHS, and not by ICE.

Can I see Census response rates?

The US Census Bureau has an online map of the rates of household responses to the 2020 Census online, by mail, or by phone. View 2020 Census response rate map

Learn more

For more information, visit 2020census.gov

Download this 2020 Census guide
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