The Census

Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a census to count all people in the United States. Census data determines the resources for each community and defines its role in government over the next 10 years. At its core, the 2020 Census is about amplifying our voice, and the voices of our family, friends, and neighbors.

Why is the Census Important?

The ACLU has long viewed the Census as foundational to our democracy. You can’t have government by the people, of the people, for the people, unless you know how many people there are and where they live.

For Massachusetts, the census determines the allocation of more than $16 billion in funding. That’s money for schools, hospitals, affordable housing, childcare, senior centers, public works, language access, and other vital investments. We need to make sure that we have these resources to support our community, and that’s why we need a complete count.

The Census also defines our political voice. Communities across Massachusetts need fair political representation to ensure our needs are expressed in City Hall, the State House, and Congress.

The ACLU beat back the citizenship question. Now’s the time to make sure that everyone, especially immigrants and communities of color, is represented in the next decade. Our communities deserve to be seen, heard, and counted.

Important Dates

The Census Bureau has extended its schedule in response to COVID-19. Check out their website for more important dates.


Deadline for self-response by online, phone, mail

By September 30, 2020

Deliver apportionment counts to the President

By December 31, 2020

Process redistricting data 

By March 31, 2021

How to Get Involved

The ACLU of Massachusetts is a proud member of the MassCounts Coalition to help ensure a complete count. You can volunteer to phonebank to support the communities underrepresented in the census:


Fill out the Census through mail, phone, online

Explore frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Access multilingual hotlines