The 2020 Census is approaching.

The Census is a once-per-decade count of all people living in the United States that is mandated by the Constitution. The count will begin in mid-March of 2020 when most households will receive a mailed invitation to respond online or by phone.  Federal law requires the Census Bureau to keep personally identifiable census information confidential – it cannot be shared with any other governmental agencies, law enforcement, landlords, credit agencies, or anywhere else outside the Census Bureau.

The Census usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete, but brings 10 years of benefits. The Census informs how $675 billion of federal funds – an average of over $2,000 per person – will be allocated for things like affordable housing, childcare, healthcare, education, transit, roads, and more. The Census count is also important to ensure equal representation when drawing electoral districts – from aldermanic districts all the way to U.S. House of Representatives districts. District boundaries are based on the total population count – not the number of voters or citizens. Lack of a complete and accurate Census count can lead to underrepresentation in certain areas and a lack of funding for important community programs and infrastructure.

The City is actively publicizing the importance of the 2020 Census through a variety of channels, including working with the UW and MMSD, publicizing the census at community events, working with nonprofit community partners to spread the word, talking with local TV stations and newspapers, and more.  One effective avenue is also working through neighborhoods to inform people about the census and encourage people to fill out their census forms.  The City encourages residents to reach out to their neighbors to make sure everyone is aware of the 2020 Census and its importance. 

Visit to find out more about what the City is doing and learn about 2020 Census events and updates, or visit for more from the Census Bureau.  The City of Madison wants to ensure all residents are counted – help shape our future by completing the Census next year!

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