Posted March 27, 2020

How to get counted in the U.S. Census

April 1 is officially Census Day nationwide.

Five Klein students promote their #10minutesfor10years Census awareness campaign
Photography By: 
Klein College of Media and Communication
Five Klein students promote their #10minutesfor10years Census awareness campaign: (top, left to right) Jazmyne Williams, Jordan Peterson, William Careri, (bottom) Caitlin Gemmi, and Lauryn Edmondson.

Did you know getting counted in the U.S. Census has huge political and financial benefits for your community?

“If the government doesn’t know the number of people living in an area, that area won’t receive as much funding, which will affect parks, schools, churches and more,” says the President of Temple’s Black Public Relations Society Lauryn Edmondson, Class of 2020.

This semester, Lauryn and four of her public relations classmates are mobilizing the Temple-area community as part of a national competition designed to get college students and members of other undercounted groups to participate in the 2020 Census. 

We asked Lauryn to share what she’s learned through her Census outreach activities.

What is the U.S. Census?
The U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years and is actually mandated by the Constitution. The Census aims to “count everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” and can now be completed by phone, mail or—for the first time in history—online at

Why is completing the Census so important?
The Census determines how billions of dollars in funding is given to support communities across the country. It determines the number of seats each state will have in the House of Representatives, which is then used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

When is the deadline?
April 1 is officially Census Day nationwide. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the deadline to complete the questionnaire has been extended to August 14, 2020. It’s available now at

How are college students being counted in the Census? Where should I file?
The Census asks you to fill out the questionnaire with information on where you live and sleep most of the time. Students affected by college and university closures should still be counted where they live while they’re at school. 

If you live off campus in an apartment with three friends, you can complete the Census for your apartment, including your three friends.
For students who live on campus, (i.e. residence hall or dorm), you will be counted through the university staff directly as a part of their “Group Quarters” count.

Learn more about being counted through the university.

Is there a citizenship question on the Census?
No! The Census does not ask about citizenship in its questionnaire. 

What is a good way to remind friends and family to complete the Census form on time?
Tell them about it! Remind them to go online to to fill it out. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete. In our outreach campaign, we’ve used the hashtag #10minutesfor10years to help spread the word, and the U.S. Census Bureau also has active YouTube and social media profiles @uscensusbureau where you can get more information.

—Andrew Lochrie