Census 2020

The next census will be conducted on April 1, 2020 per the constitution, which mandates that every 10 years every person in the nation will be counted and basic information collected. There are two primary purposes for the census: re-apportionment of the house seats in the Congress and allocation of more than 600 billion federal dollars each year to the states and communities. 

The Demographics Research Group has created this dedicated page to highlight the importance of the census, to inform the general public of the census process, and to share the work we do to help the Commonwealth ensure a complete count and fair representation of all Virginians. We will post reports, web series articles, and other credible information related to the 2020 census on this page, and we also welcome your submission of questions, which will help us to address your concerns. We have also posted information about the Census Bureau's differential privacy program and our efforts to brief thought leaders about the potential impact. Please contact us at demographics@virginia.edu

Our Census 2020 Series

Communication is critical

Outreach is critical to increase awareness and knowledge about the census; ease distrust, uncertainty and even fear; and advocate for full participation. Read the memo.

Why the census is important

It is imperative that every household complete the census so that each state has fair representation in Congress and the appropriate allocation of federal dollars. Read the article

Intelligence for the nation

The census touches all of our lives. It is used to accurately redraw congressional districts, distribute federal funds, and determine community needs. Read the article.

Misconceptions about the census

Recently, the Census Bureau conducted a study, which revealed some common misconceptions about the census, three of which are discussed in this article.

U.S. Census Bureau Information

2020 census at a glance

Learn more about the census, the process for completing the form, and key milestones.

Options for completing the census

Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. Read more

The 2020 census and confidentiality

The law is clear—no personal information can be shared. Read more.

Counting young children in the census

About 1 million kids weren't counted in the 2010 census. Learn what you can do to help.

New This Year: Census Bureau implementing data distortion program

While the importance of the 2020 Census is fully recognized, most census data users have not yet heard about “differential privacy,” a new mathematical procedure devised by the Census Bureau that will be applied to the 2020 Census data before it is released to enhance data privacy protection. Our analysis indicates that data accuracy at the sub-state (region, county, city, town) level will be sacrificed as a result of this new approach to data release. This inaccuracy may lead to misallocation of funds, poor capacity for planning, substandard service provision, and a competitive disadvantage in economic and workforce development.

We have developed a differential privacy page that includes an explanation of the differential privacy program, our outreach efforts and others' outreach efforts, media coverage, resources and information about what you can do.


Local Update of Census Address (LUCA) Report

The LUCA program gives tribal, state and local governments an opportunity to review addresses used to conduct the decennial census. LUCA is a critical step to ensure a complete count. If an address isn't listed in the Census file, the residents of that address likely will not be counted.

The Weldon Cooper Center reviewed as many as 1.5 million residential addresses in the state and identified 33,555 missing or incorrect addresses, potentially adding more than 70,000 Virginians to the decennial census.