Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count the full population of the United States.
While April 1, 2020 is Census Day, you can fill our the Census now. The U.S. Census Bureau announced an extension until August 14, 2020 to complete the Census due to COVID-19. Check their website
for updates and information.
Why is the Census important?
Here's why the Census counts:
Having a full count affects the amount of federal funding our community receives for schools, housing, health, and neighborhoods. Census data assists in the mapping of voting precincts, congressional and state legislative districts, and school districts. If there is an undercount in California, we could lose a seat in Congress.
The Census is especially important for LGBTQ+ people because this community has historically been an undercounted population. Responses from the LGBTQ+ community provide data to help better informs advocates, policymakers, and researchers working on LGBTQ+ issues.
Can I identify as being LGBTQ+ on the Census?
While there is no question specifically about sexual orientation, this is the first time that the Census has the option to identify someone living in your household as a same-sex spouse or same-sex unmarried partner. While this is an improvement from previous Census questionnaires, we recognize this still excludes many LGBTQ+ people.
The Census includes a question to report an individual’s sex and only offers a binary response of male or female. We recognize this is limiting and does not reflect the diversity of genders within the LGBTQ+ community. The U.S. Census Bureau allows you to self-identify and select the option that works the best for you, and does not require you to provide any documentation – meaning if you have not legally changed your name and/or gender on your ID, you will still be counted.
The National LGBTQ Task Force’s Guide to the 2020 Census includes suggestions on how to navigate filling out the Census as an LGBTQ person.
How can I complete the Census?
Visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s page for more information.
You can call 844-330-2020 to complete the census by phone. Visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s responding by phone page for more information, including language support.
You can mail back the paper questionnaire sent to your home. Visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s responding by mail page for more information.
Keep an eye out for updates around door-to-door canvassing in Santa Clara County and in-person Census kiosks, which are currently on hold with the shelter-in-place order.
Become a Census Champion to help the whole community get counted! You can make a positive impact from your couch or kitchen table. Learn more and register here.
- The U.S. Census Bureau has LGBTQ fact sheets, posters, articles, and more
- Equality California has
developed a of LGBTQ specific messaging around the Census, including social media graphics, videos, postcards, FAQs, and community talking points, as well as their own Census 2020 webpage
- The National LGBTQ Taskforce has a Queer the Census 2020 microsite with factsheets, FAQs, and other resources
- A community-led group, Queers Count 2020, is featuring Census tips and stories from LGBTQ+ identified people local to Santa Clara County