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2020 Census

This guide draws upon work by Katherine Paterson, Loyola University Libraries and Linda Zellmer, Western Illinois University Library

Why Do We Need the Census?

Every 10 years, since 1790, the Census has the goal to count every person living in the United States on April 1, 2020 and to gather some information about those people. The data we get from the Census is very powerful.



The Census can also help regular people with their research and decision-making. Because Census data is government information, it is freely available to you. Census data can help community members and researchers to...

  • Learn more about their communities 
  • Plan for business decisions 
  • Conduct research to analyze social and economic conditions

Amazing Apportionment Machine

A quick explanation of how seats in the House of Representatives are reallocated after each decennial census.

Census 101

Concerns About Being Counted

Several organizations have answered commons questions about the impact that the 2020 Census will have on communities and on individuals.

For additional guidance on outreach to communities, including the disabled and LGBTQ community members, the City of Chicago provides an excellent resource list.