Our Constitution requires a nationwide census every ten years. The results of this census are crucial not only to knowing how many reside in our state and nation, but to determining representation in Congress and the allocation of billions of dollars of federal funds for grants and programs that support local communities, including our Hawai‘i. Ensuring that Hawai‘i residents are accurately counted in this census, and that the unique composition of our state is accurately quantified, ensures continued federal support for our schools, health clinics, veterans centers, public housing and so much more.
The 2020 Census is especially relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Census field operations have been delayed until later this year, data from the 2010 Census has already been used to allocate federal assistance related to COVID-19. As we look ahead and consider future challenges, responding to the 2020 Census this year is one of the ways each of us can contribute to a more resilient and prepared Hawai‘i.
Who Should Respond. Everyone living in the United States or its territories is counted, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Your response is required by law, so if you do not respond, a Census taker will follow up in person.
Census Questions. The 2020 Census Questionnaire includes a few simple questions to identify how many people in your household and gather some demographic data. There is no citizenship question as part of the 2020 Census. For more information on the specific questions on this year’s census and why they are asked, please visit: https://www.2020census.gov/en/about-questions.html.
Privacy. Data gathered via the Census is used strictly for statistical purposes and by law cannot be used for any other purpose. No personal information is disclosed as part of the Census.
Language Support. The 2020 Census includes expanded support for individuals with limited English proficiency, including full support in twelve other languages: Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese. These languages and English cover over 99% of all households in the United States. However, other resources are available to support a total of 59 non-English languages, including video and print guides. For more information, please visit: https://2020census.gov/en/languages.html.
How to Respond. When you have received your 2020 Census ID (unique to your home address) in the mail, you can respond and complete the questionnaire through three different ways:
Census PSAs. The following are some PSAs developed by the U.S. Census Bureau for distribution to encourage different communities to participate and respond to the 2020 Census. Please consider sharing with your network.