2020 Census and ICPL

Census 2020 graphic

The United States Constitution requires a count every 10 years of every person who is residing in the U.S., regardless of immigration status or citizenship. Responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure and protected by federal law. Answers can only be used to produce anonymous statistics—they cannot be used against any person or household in any way. This once-a-decade population count affects representation in government, determines how much funding our community receives, and provides data to help us plan for the future.

The census form asks questions about all the people who live and sleep in a household most of the time—including babies and anyone who has no other permanent place to stay and is staying in the household—as of April 1, 2020. Respondents do not have to wait until April 1 to respond but should include everyone who will be a “usual resident” on April 1, or anyone staying there on April 1 who does not have a usual home elsewhere. 

For the first time, in 2020 the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online. The process will be quick and secure. It should take about 10 minutes to complete, less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee!

Between March 12-20 most Johnson County households will receive a postcard invitation to respond online to the census. If internet access is unavailable to you, the Iowa City Public Library is here to help! Ask at the Info Desk on the 2nd floor for assistance and library staff will be happy to help you get started online with filling out your form.

An estimated 5 percent of kids under the age of 5 weren’t counted in the 2010 Census. That’s about 1 million young children, the highest of any age group. When children are missed in the census, these programs miss out on funding that is based on the number of children counted. To help spread the word about the importance of this count, Iowa City Public Library Children’s staff have planned a number of upcoming events in the Storytime Room : 


Sunday Funday: Everyone Counts!

Sunday, March 8, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Census Storytime: Everyone Counts!

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 10:30am to 11:00am

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 10:30am to 11:00am


Census StoryJAM (Joy in Action and Music): Everyone Counts!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:30am to 11:00am


Everyone Counts! Family Census Party 2020

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm


Preschool Stories & More: Everyone Counts! 2020 Census

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 10:30am to 11:00am


Book Babies: Everyone Counts! 2020 Census

Friday, March 13, 2020 - 10:30am to 11:00am and 1:30pm to 2:00pm


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