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#OaklandCounts 2020 Census

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau is required to count every person living in the United States, regardless of citizenship status. In March-April 2020, Oakland residents will participate in the next decennial census count ensuring that our community receives its share of federal funding that supports education, housing, health, transportation, and other critical programs that make Oakland thrive.


It’s one of the simplest and most impactful civic participation events in our country – completing the census. The decennial census is important because the results are used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment) and to define district boundaries for our congressional representatives, state legislators, City Council Members and Oakland Unified School Board Members (a process called redistricting).

An accurate and complete 2020 Census count is vital to Oakland because census data is used to determine the region’s federal funding for numerous programs: Community Development Block Grants, Section 8 housing, Head Start, Medicaid, Medicare Part B, among many others. Planners use census data to determine where schools, housing, roads, hospitals, child care centers, senior centers, and other community resources should be built. Any undercount means Oakland and the region loses out on critical funding and data that supports our local economy. Yes, it is that important!

In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will conduct the nation’s first digital census with fewer resources and at a lower cost per person than ever before. The 2020 Census will involve counting nearly 330 million people in more than 140 million households. Given that Oakland is one of the hardest-to-count cities in the nation, the City is working with the County of Alameda, State of California, U.S. Census Bureau and community partners to ensure full participation in the 2020 Census.

When is the Census?

Officially, Census day is April 1, 2020. However, Oakland residents will be able to submit their Census forms online or over the phone beginning in mid-March 2020. For more information see Key Dates for the 2020 Census.

Next Steps

More information will be shared through this site in the coming months. City staff is currently working with multiple stakeholder groups to ensure a complete count for Oakland.

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