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Census 2020

The 2020 Census is happening now. Your participation is critical to ensuring that you're fairly represented at all levels of government, and that River Forest, Cook County, and the State of Illinois receive a fair share of federal funding to support a wide variety of projects and services.

Ready to respond?

Households across the United States received invitations during March 2020 to respond to the 2020 Census. Even if you never received anything in the mail or lost your invitation, you can still respond using your address.

Click here and complete the 2020 Census today!

If you prefer to call, respond by phone at 844-330-2020 (English available 8am to 1am). Callers may experience longer wait times due to limited in-person staff during the COVID-19 emergency. 

What is the census?

Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau counts every resident in the United States, as mandated by the Constitution. The next census will take place in 2020. Read the US Census Bureau's fact sheet, "Census 101: What You Need to Know."

Why does it matter?

Participating in the 2020 Census is a civic duty. An accurate census ensures fair representation on all levels of government, and Census data is used to determine the allocation of more than $800 billion in federal funds annually to states, counties and cities across the country. Census data is also used for research, and academic institutions, medical facilities, and businesses all utilize census data for a variety of purposes.

Where should I be counted?

The Census counts where people are living on April 1, 2020. You can count yourself at the place where you normally live and sleep at on April 1, 2020. If you are a snowbird - you live in another state for a part of the year - you can count yourself at the place where you are for most of the year. If you spend equal time at two or more places, you can answer from where you live on April 1, 2020.

Who should be counted?

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 anyone—related or unrelated to you—who lives and sleeps at your home most of the time.

Please be sure to count roommates, young children, newborns, and anyone who is renting a space in your home. 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.

For how to count unique or special cases, click here

For more on where to count college students, especially during the COVID-19 emergency, click here

How is River Forest doing?

As of July 29, 2020, 81.3% of River Forest households have already responded to the 2020 Census. Have you?

Is the Census over?

No! While the Census Day celebrations on April 1 have come and gone, you still have time to self-respond to the Census! Complete the Census today before the Census Bureau sends out interviewers to knock on the doors of people who haven’t responded in order to collect answers in person.

What is the census timeline?

Beginning March 12, invitation letters sent by the Census Bureau will begin arriving in mailboxes that will contain a Census ID number and explain the three options to fill out a census questionnaire: by phone, by mail or online.

Click here for a sample invitation letter.

Click here for a sample questionnaire.

Click here for an instructional video on completing a questionnaire.

If there’s been no response online or by phone, a paper questionnaire will be sent via mail that should arrive in mailboxes between April 8 and April 16. An envelope will be enclosed to mail back a completed paper questionnaire.

If there’s still been no response, the Census Bureau will send out interviewers between May 13 and July 31 to knock on the doors of people who haven’t responded in order to collect answers in person.

 July 31 is the last day someone can fill out a questionnaire. For more, read the US Census Bureau's fact sheet, How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond

What’s new for 2020?

The 2020 Census will be the first to let citizens provides responses over the phone or through an online portal.

Is the Census hard to complete?

No. The Census asks simple questions and filling one out takes about 10 minutes. You can complete it online or over the phone at a time convenient for you. 

Will my information be confidential and protected?

Census Bureau employees are sworn to uphold the confidentiality of your data for life. Your responses can only be used to produce statistical information, and your personal information cannot be seen or used by other government agencies or the courts. Read the US Census Bureau's fact sheet, The 2020 Census and Confidentiality

What will the online Census form look like?

This video will introduce you to the 2020 Census, present an overview of the online questionnaire, and help you answer the questions.

What does the 2020 Census mean for Illinois?

For every person not counted, Illinois loses $1,400 a year. Watch the below video and visit to learn more about #ILCountMeIn2020

Want to work for the 2020 Census?

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. Find jobs that fit your schedule and earn extra money while supporting your community. Visit

Will the COVID-19 emergency impact the 2020 Census?

While the COVID-19 emergency has interrupted face-to-face operations, the Census is easier than ever to complete right from your home – online or over the phone. The U.S. Census Bureau will continue to adjust as necessary to ensure the health and safety of Census employees and the American public. For more on how the Census timeline will be impacted, click here

Where should college students be counted during the COVID-19 emergency?

College students that normally live at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily living somewhere else due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still have a Census question?

Text "Census" to 987-987. You can text questions and get answers to many questions right away. 

For more information on the 2020 Census, visit