Census 2020: Here’s What Military Families Need to Know

March 25, 2020

By now, you’ve probably seen ads, billboards, and commercials about the 2020 Census. And, between March 12 and 20, all households will receive information about the 2020 Census. There are a few key things that we all need to know. Here’s the 4-11.

What is the Census?

The Census is a count of everyone living in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the five territories that is completed once every ten years. This point-in-time count—which is written into the U.S. Constitution—informs things like congressional districts and funding for critical programs like hospitals and schools. For the first time, the Census can be completed online, making it easier than ever to make sure you and your family are counted. So, if someone sleeps at your house on April 1 (regardless of their age), they should be counted as part of your home.

Why should military families care about the Census?

Military families regularly make use of local resources likes schools and roads so it’s important that they are counted as a part of the Census. Being a part of the count enables local governments to plan for updates to those resources and provide the appropriate level of funding. You must respond to the Census for your current location and not your home of record so that there is a clear understanding of how many people reside in a community.

How do I complete the Census?

It is important that each household completes the Census. The Department of Defense will provide a count of military service members and their families who are currently stationed in Puerto Rico, the five territories, overseas, or assigned to a military vessel with a homeport outside of the United States. Deployed service members will also be counted by the Department of Defense and should not be included in your household count if they are deployed on April 1. For military families living in the 50 states or Washington, DC, the Census can be completed online, over the phone, or by mail. Now that the Census can be completed online, it is easier than ever to respond (without multiple reminders from Census employees). When completing the Census, keep in mind that you should count everyone in your home regardless of age.

Go to to learn more. Make sure you and your family are counted!