About the Census
The goal of the U.S. Census is to count every person living in the U. S. once, only once, and in the right place.
Your response is important and directly impacts Coralville and Johnson County. The census is much more than just a head count. It helps determine where to build new schools, hospitals, and businesses; and how congressional seats are apportioned. It also helps us see how our communities have changed over time. That’s why an accurate count is so important.
What you need to know about the 2020 Census
Why it’s important
Responding to the census helps Coralville and Johnson County get funding and helps businesses make data-driven decisions that grow the economy.
- Census data impact our daily lives, informing important decisions about funding for services and infrastructure in our community, including health care, senior centers, jobs, political representation, roads, schools, and businesses.
- It impacts our community. The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on the census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
- Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.
- It’s in the constitution. The U. S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.
- Redistricting. After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for populations shifts.
- It’s your civic duty: a way to participate in our democracy and say “I count.”
- Local government officials use the census to ensure public safety and plan new schools and hospitals.
- Businesses use Census Bureau data to decide where to build office, stores and factories, and these create jobs.
- Real estate developers and city planners use the census to plan new homes and improve neighborhoods.
How you’ll be contacted
Responding to the 2020 Census is easier than ever. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone.
- In March of 2020, you can expect to receive an invitation in the mail to go online and complete the census questionnaire.
- In case you miss the initial letter, every household that hasn’t responded by April will be mailed reminders.
- Census workers will follow up in person with households that haven’t responded by May.
What questions you can expect
The census collects demographic, economic, and social data. The Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, bank or credit card information, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. View census question topics.
What happens with your responses
- Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law.
- Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any way.
- No law enforcement agency (including DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time.
- Your answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine your personal eligibility for government benefits.
- By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential.
- Every Census Bureau employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. In Johnson County alone, over 1,000 jobs are available and pay is $15/hr. Learn more and apply.
A jobs FAQ page is also available to address questions you may have.
Still have questions?
- Download the 2020 Census Information Packet in English, or
- Download the 2020 Census Information Packet in Spanish, or
- Email us