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CAIR Announces Formal Partnership with Census Bureau to Promote U.S. 2020 Census


(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/28/19) —The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced a formal partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau to promote American Muslim participation in the 2020 Census and to better represent the most diverse Muslim population in the world.

“CAIR is proud to partner with the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure American Muslims are fairly and accurately counted in the 2020 Census,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Full participation in the census ensures that American Muslims will be better represented in Congress and that their communities receive an equal share in state and federal programs.”

CAIR and its national network of chapters plan to work with the Census Bureau and local Islamic centers to ensure a community-wide awareness about the 2020 Census and more accurate counts of the diverse racial, ethnic and ancestry characteristics that make up the American Muslim community.

The 2020 Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, counts every person living inside the United States and five U.S. territories once every 10 years. Information from Census Bureau data affects congressional representation and school district assignments.

SEE: United States Census 2020

Census data also helps determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities in the form of public assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), health, education, transportation, disaster recovery, and much more. Faith-based organizations and institutions can also use census data to apply for grants.

CAIR wants to ensure that that not only are American Muslim communities being fairly counted – but that their neighborhoods are getting a fair share in federal and state funding.

In addition to encouraging Muslims to participate, CAIR also plans to urge individuals of Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) heritage, regardless of religion, to participate in the 2020 census, so not only are they counted, but that their increased presence in the 2020 census compels the inclusion of the MENA category in the 2030 census.

CAIR will also be working with the Census Bureau to protect Muslim communities from becoming targets of fraud or scams. CAIR notes that the Census Bureau will never ask for your: Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers, or money or donations.

In July, CAIR welcomed the Trump administration’s decision to print 2020 census forms without a citizenship question following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to block the question. 

While Article 1, Section 2, the U.S. Constitution mandates a decennial census, Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects Americans against any dissemination of personal information gathered through the census. The Census Bureau does however publish anonymized census statistics about specific demographic groups and their distribution.

Key Census Dates Moving Forward:

  • August 2019:The Census Bureau conducts in-field address canvassing. Census takers visit areas that have added or lost housing in recent years to ensure that the Census Bureau’s address list is up to date.
  • January 2020:The Census Bureau begins counting the population in remote Alaska.
  • April 1, 2020:Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You’ll then have three options for responding: online, by mail, or by phone.
  • April 2020:Census takers begin following up with households around selected colleges and universities. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews.
  • May 2020:The Census Bureau begins following up with households that have not responded.
  • December 2020:The Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the president.

The Census Bureau is now hiring for a variety of temporary jobs, including census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff.

SEE: 2020 Census Jobs

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Department Director Robert S. McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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