Be a Census Influencer!

Census Day is April 1, 2020. That’s not the day the census starts, but when you respond to the census, you tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1.

The US census is an important foundation for equal representation. The count is used to decide representation in Congress, but also in the PA house and senate. It also helps the state and federal government allocate resources and plan services and determines funding for a wide mix of programs. Just a start: student and business loans, early childhood education, transit and infrastructure, emergency medical care.

The risk of undercounting in the 2020 census is higher than ever with covid-19 creating confusion, complications and changes to the timeline for outreach to non-responders. Because a complete count is so important to fair redistricting and full representation, Fair Districts PA is working with partner organizations to help share important information, answer questions and encourage completion of the census.

You can help!

First, make sure you’ve completed your own census. You can complete it easily online at or by phone at (844) 330-2020.

Then, become a Census Influencer: share information through email, social media and in phone calls with family and friends. Census workers were scheduled to begin knocking on doors of non-responders by April 9. That start has been delayed and will likely be delayed again. The more early responses received, the better.

Populations most at risk for undercount:

YOUNG CHILDREN: The 2010 census missed more than 10% of all children under age 5 in the U.S. In 2010, Pennsylvania undercounted over 25,000 children, losing $1,746 per child head in federal funding for Medicaid, CHIP, foster care and adoption services, and childcare, at a cost of nearly $44 million in federal funding. ALL children should be counted, including babies, foster children, children in joint custody or living with someone other than a biological parent. ALL children should be counted in the household where they spend most of their time. If that’s not clear, they should be counted where they are living on April 1.

COLLEGE STUDENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS: College closures this year make this population even more at risk of undercount. Students in dorm housing will be counted by colleges and universities, even if they’ve been sent home. Students normally living in off-campus housing should be counted where they WOULD HAVE BEEN on April 1, even if they’ve moved home due to COVID-19.

IMMIGRANT AND MINORITY COMMUNITIES: There is NO citizenship question on the 2020 census, but discussion about that raised concerns.

RURAL COMMUNITIES: Some of PA’s rural counties had the lowest self-response rates in 2010, in large part due to lack of internet access.

See the full map at

For anyone with concerns:

The census can be completed online, on paper, or by phone.

Phone completion is offered in 16 languages. Online completion is offered in 59 languages.

Find more information about special circumstances here. Please be aware: the first census mailing went out on or around March 12. If you completed a form BEFORE that, in likelihood it was not the official census. Some political groups have circulated imitations in attempts to gather information OR as fund-raising devices. The legitimate 2020 Census form asks just 10 questions.There are no questions about personal finances, no request for social security number, and nothing about political point of view or party affiliation. To view what is on the proper Census form, visit

If you suspect fraud, call 844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.