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Who To Count

The 2020 Census will count everyone living in the United States and five U.S. territories.

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Count Everyone Under Your Roof

If you are filling out the census for your home, you should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This includes any friends or family members who are living and sleeping there most of the time. If someone is staying in your home on April 1, and has no usual home elsewhere, you should count them in your response to the 2020 Census. Please also be sure to count roommates, young children, newborns, and anyone who is renting a space in your home. These people are often missed in the census. This means they can miss out on resources for themselves and their communities over the next 10 years.

Counting Young Children

It is important to remember to count any children who are living with you. This includes:

  • All children who live in your home, including foster children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and the children of friends (even if they are living with you temporarily).
  • Children who split their time between homes, if they are living with you on April 1, 2020.
  • Newborn babies, even those who are born on April 1, 2020, or who are still in the hospital on this date.

Special Circumstances

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Babies born on or before April 1, 2020, should be counted at the home where they will live or sleep most of the time, even if they are still in the hospital. Babies born after April 1, 2020, should not be counted in the 2020 Census.

People who are moving should count themselves just once, in one home.

  • If they move into their new residence on April 1, 2020, they should count themselves at that residence.
  • If they move out of their old residence on April 1, 2020, but have not yet moved into their new home, they should count themselves at their old residence.

Whether to count a visitor depends on the type of visitor. Visitors who are in your home on April 1, 2020, but who will return to their normal residence should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. Residents of foreign countries who are visiting the United States on vacation or business on April 1, 2020, should not be counted.

Citizens of foreign countries who are living in the United States, including members of the diplomatic community, should be counted at the U.S. residence where they live and sleep most of time.

Citizens of foreign countries who are visiting the United States on vacation or business on April 1, 2020, should not be counted.

  • Boarding school students below the college level should be counted at the home of their parents or guardians.
  • College students who are living at home should be counted at their home address.
  • College students who live away from home should be counted at the on- or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time, even if they are at home on April 1, 2020. Please visit Counting People in Group Living Arrangements for more information.
  • U.S. college students who are living and attending college outside the United States are not counted in the census.
  • Foreign students living and attending college in the United States should be counted at the on- or off-campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time.
  • People who live in housing units at military installations will be able to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail—just like those who live outside military installations.
  • The Census Bureau will ensure that military personnel who live in places such as barracks or military campgrounds are all counted, in much the same way that the Census Bureau counts others living in group quarters, such as students in university housing. Please visit Counting People in Group Living Arrangements for more information.
  • Military personnel who are temporarily deployed overseas should be counted at their usual home address in the United States.

People who are living in emergency and transitional shelters that provide sleeping facilities for people experiencing homelessness should be counted at the shelter. Please visit Counting People in Group Living Arrangements for more information.

People displaced by natural disasters should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. If they do not have a residence where they usually live and sleep, they should be counted where they are staying on April 1, 2020.

People who are living in any of the following on April 1, 2020, should be counted at the facility:

  • Correctional residential facilities.
  • Federal detention centers.
  • Federal and state prisons.
  • Local jails and other municipal confinement facilities.

Please visit Counting People in Group Living Arrangements for more information.

The following patients should be counted at the residence where they live and sleep most of the time, rather than at the facility:

The following patients should be counted at the health care facility in which they're staying on April 1, 2020:

  • People with no usual home.
  • People in psychiatric hospitals or psychiatric units for long-term, nonacute care.
  • People in nursing facilities.

Please visit Counting People in Group Living Arrangements for more information.

If you are living or staying at a campground, a recreational vehicle park, a marina, a hotel, or another transitory location, the Census Bureau has a special process for how you should respond to the 2020 Census. Please visit How Are People Counted at RV Parks, Campgrounds, and Other Transitory Locations? for more information.

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