Download a printable version of this FAQ.
- Federal, state, and local governments use Census data to determine how tax dollars and other resources are allocated.
- Washington State receives approximately $16 billion each year in federal funds for a variety of human service, community development, and health programs.
- Each household that is missed in the census count costs Washington State approximately $4,800 in federal funds.
- The Washington State Legislature allocates approximately $200 million in state funds for programs based off of census data.
- Local governments use census data to determine where development should take place and how local dollars should be spent.
- Nonprofit organizations use census data to fund and focus services.
- The data collected shows geographic areas that are underserved, which supplies data to help with service delivery and access to services.
- Census data is used to inform grant proposals and other projects designed to raise the quality of life in our communities.
- The Census also determines how political boundaries are drawn.
- Census data informs Washington State’s Redistricting Committee’s work to ensure that legislative districts are drawn fairly so that communities are represented in Olympia and Washington, DC.
Census Questionnaire Assistance through the Census Bureau’s Customer Service Hotline, 1-800-923-8282, will be offered in the languages above.
Glossaries, videos, and other materials, but not the survey itself, will also be available in these 59 other languages:
American Sign Language
- Federal law establishes confidentiality protections applicable to individual census responses. Protections include:
- Prohibiting the Census Bureau from using census information to the detriment of a respondent or for any purpose other than producing statistical datasets; and
- Making it a felony for census workers or other Census Bureau employees to publish or distribute individual responses or other information that would identify an individual, business, or organization.
- The Census Bureau can share compiled census data, including statistical and demographic data at the community or neighborhood level.
Even with these protections in federal law, we understand that certain individuals and communities may still have hesitations about completing the Census. Because of this, Washington Nonprofits will continue to post resources to this website that are meant to address questions of confidentiality and safety for Census respondents.
You can also be reactive by training your staff to reference the materials in our toolkit so they can answer basic questions about the Census, such as the why, when, and how of participating in the Census.
Individuals seeking assistance in Spanish can call the NALEO Census hotline at 1-877-352-3676 (1-877-EL CENSO).
- Complex households, including those with blended families, multiple generations, or non-relatives
- Cultural and linguistic minorities
- Undocumented immigrants
- Recent immigrants
- Displaced persons affected by a disaster
- Lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer/questioning persons
- Low-income persons
- Persons experiencing homelessness
- Persons less likely to use the Internet or individuals without Internet access
- Persons residing in places difficult for Census workers to access, such as buildings with strict doormen, gated communities, and basement apartments
- Persons residing in rural or geographically isolated areas
- Persons who do not live in traditional housing
- Persons who do not speak English fluently (or have limited English proficiency)
- Persons who have distrust in the government
- Persons with mental and/or physical disabilities
- Persons without a high school diploma
- Racial and ethnic minorities
- Undocumented immigrants (or recent immigrants)
- Young children
- Young, mobile persons
- Older people
- People who cannot read or have limited reading ability
- People without a standard street address