Skip Header

Counting Young Children

A family snuggles on a couch with their two kids.


Think about the babies who will be born in 2020.

The first smiles. The first steps. The first words. In the years to come, some may need day care, after-school care, or school lunch programs. And all children will need safe communities in which to grow and thrive.

That's why it's so important that we count newborn babies and young children accurately. Responding to the 2020 Census can help shape resources for children and their communities over the next decade. This could include support for health insurance programs, hospitals, child care, food assistance, schools, and early childhood development programs.

If you have children in your home, make sure they are counted in the right place.

  • The general rule is: Count children in the home where they live and sleep most of the time, even if their parents do not live there.  

  • If you've just had a baby, and your baby is still in the hospital on Census Day (April 1, 2020), then count your baby at the home where he or she will live and sleep most of the time. 

  • If children spend time in more than one home, count them where they stay most often. If their time is evenly divided, or if you do not know where they stay most often, count them where they are staying on April 1, 2020.  

  • If you are helping to take care of a friend's or family member's child, and the child does not have a permanent place to live, count the child if he or she is staying with you on April 1, 2020—even if it's only temporary.

A complete count of young children is important, but difficult. Learn more by visiting Research on the Undercount of Young Children.


Spread the word about the importance of counting young children by sharing the materials below.

Counting Young Children Fact Sheet

This fact sheet gives information about counting young children and why it's important.

Counting Young Children in the 2020 Census

Describes the challenges involved in accurately counting young children and how you can help ensure all children are counted in 2020.

Download PDF

Across the country, individuals like you are helping to ensure all children are counted in the 2020 Census. Visit Outreach Materials for more information to share.

  Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes    Thumbs Down Image No
Comments or suggestions?
No, thanks
255 characters remaining
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?