What’s New in the 2020 Census

Posted on May 17, 2019 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

And How What’s New Affects You

By Alice Kenny

The U.S. Census count, a once-in-a decade nationwide event – along with changes planned for it - can have a huge impact on you.

How so? 

First, of course, is the controversial issue regarding whether a new question regarding citizenship should be added.  Catholic Charities NY already made its position clear, protesting the question’s inclusion in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court.  The question could frighten off respondents already on edge because of publicly voiced anti-immigrant sentiment .

Census Goes Online

Equally important is that, for the first time ever, the thick packet of papers we remember as the census in past decades,  can, in 2020, be completed online.   

In fact, the government encourages online completion.

Is that good?

With online census completion, “online deserts”, low-income neighborhoods with limited access to computers, can become a serious issue.  Large swaths of groups could be undercounted due to their inability to access a computer. 

So spread the word, folks who prefer can still respond by phone or mail.

Don’t worry; strict federal laws require all information be kept confidential, with a cybersecurity program protecting questionnaires completed online.

How long will it take to complete these censuses that describe everyone living in a household?

Estimates range from 10 minutes to the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

Why do we care here at Catholic Charities NY – and why should you?

Census responses determine how much funding our communities receive.  This includes funds for what matters most including

  • Public services, schools, hospitals and fire departments. 
  • Neighborhood and business plans
  • How much your voted is counted; including how many House of Representative seats each state is allotted

We’re just getting started

  • The 2020 Census will not be available until – that’s right – 2020. 
  • Census due date is not until April 1, 2020

We’ll keep you posted


Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

For Help Call 888-744-7900