US & World

10 Census Facts That Bust Common Myths About The 2020 U.S. Head Count

Demonstrators rally in Washington, D.C., in April 2019 against the now-blocked citizenship question that the Trump administration tried and failed to get on the 2020 census forms.
Demonstrators rally in Washington, D.C., in April 2019 against the now-blocked citizenship question that the Trump administration tried and failed to get on the 2020 census forms.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Making sense of the census can be difficult.

In the U.S., the national head count comes around once every 10 years. That's enough time for memories to fade and for newcomers to settle into life here without ever encountering the constitutional mandate, which determines how political representation and federal tax dollars are distributed.

There are a lot of basics to understand about the census. As the count ramps up, you'll likely see and hear misinformation — and some disinformation — swirling around on social media and in conversations, and NPR is here to set the record straight.

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