Document Type


Publication Date



The U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 2) mandates that the federal government conduct a census once every 10 years to count the nation’s residents. The answer to the question of “who” gets counted is simple: everyone gets counted. Accordingly, when the next census is taken on April 1, 2020, each person residing in the United States should be counted wherever he or she resides. This article reviews the impacts of the census, “how” people are counted, how the 2020 census procedures will differ from prior census cycles, and the ongoing debate about whether or not a proposed question to ascertain residents’ citizenship status should be included on the short form that goes to all households.