It’s time to count for your community! Invitations to respond to the 2020 Census are arriving in mailboxes March 12-20, and you will have the opportunity to respond online, by phone, or by mail.
This once-a-decade survey will count everyone living in the United States! Responses help shape the future of the community and inform how billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed across the country every year for the next 10 years – including in Surprise!
Each uncounted person is a loss of nearly $3,000 per person each year affecting 130+ federal programs including: Medicaid, Head Start, housing and food for low income families, public transportation, college student loans, highway planning and construction, children’s health insurance and public school funding.
Plus, when we know how many people live in our community, it better equips the city, organizations, and businesses to evaluate the services and programs that residents need, and aids in applying for grant money. Responses also affect the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, and our city council boundaries for equal representation. Due to our state’s growing population, Arizona is likely to gain a house seat after this Census.
What to Expect
With the option to respond online for the first time in Census history, taking the survey is easier than ever! If you don’t have an internet connection at home, you can respond by phone or head to one of our local libraries to use the public computers – even if you don’t have a library card. These are the hours and locations of our Surprise libraries:
- Asante Library, 16763 W Vereda Solana Dr. Monday - Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.; Thursday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- Hollyhock Library, 15844 N Hollyhock St. Monday - Thursday: 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.; Friday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
- Northwest Regional Library,16089 N Bullard Ave. Monday - Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.; Friday - Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Five percent of homes will receive paper surveys at the first mailing, as they are in areas where computer access/use is low. Here’s what the Census invitation will look like for most homes: Invitation Letter – Informational Copy
The survey is less than 10 questions, does not inquire about citizenship, and is catered to asking questions about who lives at your address on April 1st (the official Census Day). Here’s a sample copy of the official questionnaire: Official Questionnaire – Informational Copy
It takes just 10 minutes to complete the survey, which will provide funding for 10 years of public programs!
After the initial invitation mailing, you will receive up to four census reminder letters through the month of April and then Census takers will visit your home - so respond right away and by April 1st.
Not sure who to count as part of your home? Or wondering if you should participate as a part-time resident or foreign citizen? Head to our Frequently Asked Questions page to get the answers: Census FAQs
Your Privacy is Important
By law, the federal government cannot release any information collected by the Census that identifies you, your home or your business to anyone, including law enforcement agencies.
Help Spread the Word
The city is working hard to get the word out about the Census, but we would love the help of residents, businesses, faith communities and other organizations and groups!
If you would like be a Census partner, please visit Surpriseaz.gov/Census2020Partner to view and download a variety of resources that can be used to promote the Census in your neighborhood, business or organization. You can help by telling your neighbors, sending out newsletters, putting up posters or asking for permission to hang a flyer at your neighborhood coffee shop or other public gathering places.
EveryONE counts in Surprise – from newborn babies to seniors; and it takes us ALL to get a complete count. Learn more at Surpriseaz.gov/Census2020 or 2020Census.gov.