Be Counted Lansing: 2020 Census

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In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will be conducting its decennial census - a constitutionally mandated headcount of everyone living in the United States. An accurate Census count is vitally important for local communities.

Take The Census
How To Participate In The Census

If You Live Here, Be Counted Here

Anyone residing in Lansing on April 1, 2020 should be counted in Lansing, whether they are a year-round resident, college student or international community member (regardless of citizenship status; see international citizenship section below). It's also important to note that Census forms are 100 percent confidential; strict federal law protects Census responses.

Why is it Important?

Responding to the Census is not only an individual's civic duty; it also affects how much federal funding that communities receive to support housing, education, transportation, employment, healthcare and more. Federal funding of approximately $1,800 per person, per year will be allocated to communities over the next 10 years for each person counted. In Michigan, 42 percent of the state's budget relies on federal funding and more than $15 billion in federal and state funding has been distributed to Michigan communities annually based on Census data. An accurate Census count also helps communities to plan for the future (i.e. business attraction, neighborhood/housing improvements) and is essential for fair distribution of political representation. 

Census Count Process

Beginning in March 2020, most households (80 percent) will receive a postcard on how to complete the Census Questionnaire online. The other 20 percent of households (areas identified as less likely to respond online) will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation to respond online or by phone. A series of reminder letters and postcards will be sent following this initial mailing and the U.S. Census Bureau will follow up in person with households that have yet to respond in late April 2020.

International Citizenship

The current version of the Census form, which is being printed for distribution in the spring, does not have a citizenship question. At this point, there is no indication that the citizenship question will be added to the form. Individuals with international citizenship status should still fill out the Census form indicating where they live on April 1, 2020. Individuals are encouraged to fill out as much information as they feel comfortable sharing. 


Online Census forms and phone assistance will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian, Creole, Portuguese and Japanese. Mailed Census forms will be available in English and bilingual English/Spanish. Language guides will include versions in American Sign Language, Braille and Large Print. 

Sign up to be a Lansing 2020 Census Ambassador

Census 2020 Ambassador Program Sign-Up Form

Census Jobs

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of thousands of temporary positions across the country to assist with the 2020 Census Count. U.S. Census 2020 Jobs

Sample Census Form

View a Census 2020 Sample Form (PDF)


Capital Area United Way Census 2020 Website
Census Bureau Website: Census 101
City of Lansing Census 2020 Flyer