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Census 2020


Census MSU Banner - When everyone counts, everyone wins. Be counted. Spartans 2020 Census.


The Census is now live.

Plain and simple, the 2020 Census is a count of every individual living in the country of the United States of America. This year’s census will be the 24th since the nation’s founding.

When responding to the 2020 Census, college students should be counted where they live and sleep the majority of the year. For most students, that means in their college town, not back home with their parents or guardians.

However, students who have moved home within the last couple of weeks need to complete the Census based on the address where they lived for the past six months or more.

Parents or guardians should only include children in college who live with them full-time during the school year.

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers and many others use to provide daily services, products and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads and other resources based on census data.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.



The 2020 Census and the MSU Community.  You matter! Be counted. Federal dollars help build a stronger community. Let's finish strong!


To learn more about Census 2020 efforts at MSU listen to this podcast featuring Sue Webster. Sue is a community liaison in Michigan State University's Offices of Government Relations and Student Affairs and Services.


Counting college students is critical to local communities.


What do ON-CAMPUS students need to do?

  • Nothing.
  • Students living on campus will be counted as part of the 2020 Census Group Quarters Enumeration operation. The census has designed a specific process for colleges and universities to count individuals living in group quarters such as residence halls.

What do OFF-CAMPUS students need to do?

If you have moved home within the last couple of weeks, please complete the Census based on the address where you lived for the past six months or more.

  • Take the census.
  • Every household is mailed an invitation to respond to the census. Students living in off-campus housing should be counted at the residence where they spend the majority of their time during the year.
  • If you live in a house with multiple members, one person needs to fill it out for everyone. 
  • If you live in an apartment with separate leases, you each need to complete the form.
  • Go to Census 2020 and click on the TAKE THE CENSUS button.

What do students WHO LIVE AT HOME need to do?

  • Nothing.
  • Students who reside at home will be counted by those who are completing the census for the household. 

What do INTERNATIONAL and UNDOCUMENTED students need to do?

  • Take the census.
  • Go to Census 2020 and click on the TAKE THE CENSUS button.
  • All residents – including international students and other non-citizens – should be counted at their on- or off-campuses residences as well. Understandably, students (and others) who are undocumented may be reluctant to answer the census. Responses to the census are protected by federal law. They can only be used to produce statistics and cannot be used against respondents in any way.