In addition to determining how many people make Arlington their home, the Census will also provide race and origin data that will help us meet the needs of our many population groups.
What’s on the form?
The 2020 Census includes two questions about race and origin: “Is this person of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish Origin?” and “What is this person’s race?” As part of the race question, you can choose one or more boxes, then further define your origins if you wish by printing your choice in the boxes below the question.
- Check the box you feel describes you best. If none seems right, check “some other race”
- Write your family’s ethnic origin in the boxes below the question.
For example, since there is no category for Arab Americans on the Census form, members of this community can list their Middle Eastern or North African origins in addition to the “race” or “some other race” choices on the Census form. That ensures that Arab Americans will be counted as a separate population group within the greater category of “race.” This is an option that members of any group can choose.
Similarly, respondents have the option of choosing “Black or African American” and writing in “Ethiopian” or choosing “Other Asian” and writing in “Mongolian.” Persons of mixed descent can choose “Some other race” and print their origins, and those who identify as “White” have the option to provide their origins, too.
Taking the Census Is Safe
Census data support schools, provide federal aid for college students, maintain roads and infrastructure, and allocate funding during emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Completing the Census helps guarantee that Arlington receives its fair share of federal funding to administer a wide variety of programs including housing and food assistance and other services.
By law, the personal information you provide on the Census survey may not be shared with anyone: not the FBI, the CIA, ICE, law enforcement or landlords. Census Bureau employees take an oath to keep our data safe, and if they violate that oath, they are subject to a $250,000 fine and five years in prison.
How to Take the Census
Taking the Census is safe, easy, and only takes a few minutes. Here’s how:
- Online: Go to my2020census.gov. Non-English speakers can select a different language at the bottom of the page.
- Phone: Call 844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or use these phone numbers to take the Census in 12 other languages.
- Mail: If you received a paper copy by mail, just fill it out, place it in the envelope provided and drop it in a mailbox.
Already taken the Census? Please let everyone in your network know how important – and how easy – it is!
The U.S. Census counts every resident in the nation, including right here in Arlington County. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, America gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The collected data help to determine things like the number of seats Virginia has in the House of Representatives, and how to distribute federal funds to local communities like ours. Take the Census here.