Support Equity and Civil Rights: Take the Census

Published on June 05, 2020

Census data on both race and origin are used to ensure civil rights protections including voting rights and fair housing. The data are also used to address employment discrimination, provide language services and fund schools, as well as many other programs and services.

  • Equity and Civil Rights: Over the next 10 years, 2020 Census data will be used to evaluate the equity of laws and policies and ensure civil rights protected by the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act.

  • Emergency Planning:  Population totals and demographics help Arlington plan for community services and emergencies, including responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data also help identify segments of the population who may not be getting needed medical services under the Public Health Service Act.

  • Funding for Programs and Services:  Arlington receives $50 million annually from federal grants that rely on Census data for funding allocations. Completing the Census helps guarantee that Arlington receives its fair share of federal funding to administer a wide variety of programs including Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, Free and Reduced Lunch Programs, and the Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid).

The Census also determines whether communities have fair political representation. Responses to the Census are protected by Title 13 of the U.S. Code, which ensures the confidentiality of personally identifiable information, including data on race and origin.

How to take the Census

  • Online:  Go to Non-English speakers can select a different language at the bottom of the page.

  • Phone:  Call 844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or use these phone numbers to take the Census in 12 other languages.

  • Mail:  The Census Bureau sent English-only forms to Arlingtonians. If you received a paper copy by mail, just fill it out, place it in the envelope provided and drop it in a mailbox.

  • Language Assistance: Please review the language guides for step-by-step instructions on taking the Census in a language other than English. Arlington provides a Mongolian language guide.


The U.S. Census counts every resident in the nation, including right here in Arlington County. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, America gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The collected data help to determine things like the number of seats Virginia has in the House of Representatives, and how to distribute federal funds to local communities like ours.  Take the Census here.