The Counted In Toolkit is a response to librarians’ concerns about promoting the 2020 Census among immigrant communities. The current census is a massive undertaking, but various structural (i.e., digital census participation; misinformation concerning census data usage) and social limitations (i.e., hardline immigration rhetoric and policy) pose barriers to participation. Given their role as welcoming places for immigrant groups, libraries are considered trusted messengers for census participation.

Key Facts

  • The Census Bureau’s mission is to “Count everyone, only once, and in the right place”
  • Immigrants and other hard-to-count groups will need to be reminded that the census participation is easy, safe, and important
  • The census will will be available in 12 languages other than English
  • The citizenship question will NOT be on the 2020 census after 3rd and final Supreme Court Ruling

Why immigrants?

The census is a count of the total population of the United States as mandated by the Constitution. Yet, some groups lack the tools, motivation, or knowledge to participate. Immigrant communities are especially at risk of an undercount. Census reports indicate that some immigrants fall into the categories of traditionally hard-to-count segments of the population. In other words, a portion of U.S. immigrants are identified as hard to find, hard to locate, hard to interview, and hard to persuade. For immigrants who are transient, non-English speakers, living in hiding, or feel apathetic or distrusting of government entities, libraries can be important intermediaries.

Addressing Concerns:

From the Census Bureau — The 2020 Census and Confidentiality
From the Census Bureau — Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
From Census Counts — Resource Library
From the Census Bureau — 2020 Census Research, Operational Plans, and Oversight
From the Brennan Center for Justice —  Digitizing the 2020 Census
From the Census Bureau — How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond

How do I use this toolkit?

This toolkit can help you:

Spread the word about the 2020 Census

  • Download and customize free visual aids to connect with immigrant groups
  • Communicate with local and national immigrant organizations

Learn how to engage with immigrant communities

  • Access webinars on best practices for library-community relationships 
  • Attend one of our national events

Stay connected

  • Join a national network of librarians that are promoting the 2020 Census among immigrants
  • Participate in upcoming events