San Luis Obispo County is committed to counting our entire population—and that includes college students, even if your permanent address is somewhere else. Government officials use Census data to distribute billions of dollars for programs and services, including student loans, campus improvements, research grants, health care, and more. The data will also be used to redraw Congressional districts and reapportion seats in the House of Representatives, which affects our local and national politics.

How do you get counted?

  • Starting in mid-March 2020, each household will get a letter in the mail with a code and information about how to fill out the Census online.
  • If you rent or live with roommates, one person should fill out the questionnaire for everyone living in the household.
  • If you live on campus, talk to your resident or community advisor about how to participate.

What is the Census and why is it important?

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau tries to count every person in America, gathering important data for making government districts and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds to state, county, and city governments, including colleges and universities. A correct count of San Luis Obispo County’s population is very important. The Census impacts housing, education, transportation, employment, healthcare, and public policy in communities throughout our county.

What kind of information will I be expected to provide?

The Census includes general questions about the number of people living in each household, including names, gender, age, and ethnicity. The Census questionnaire asks for people’s names to make sure each household member is counted only once. The Census will not ask for payment to fill out the questionnaire, your Social Security number, citizenship status, or financial information. The U.S. Census Bureau is required by law to protect any personal information it collects and keep it confidential.

For more information, visit the San Luis Obispo County website.

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