What is the census?
The U.S. Census is a count of every person living in the United States and its territories to determine how much funding each area needs for resources like schools, emergency services, healthcare programs, roads and more.
When is the census?
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the decennial census every ten years. The next census will be in 2020 and the Bureau will start mailing invitations on how to respond to every household in March 2020.
Do I have to take the census?
Yes. By law, every person who lives in the U.S. and its territories is required to respond to the census.
Does everyone in my household have to fill out the census survey?
Only one person per household needs to fill out the census. One person completes the questionnaire for everyone living in the home.
How do I take the census?
There are three ways to respond to the census: online or by phone or by mail. Households will receive an invitation in the mail with instructions for completing the questionnaire.
What questions are on the census?
The census asks basic demographic questions such as: how many people are living in the home; is the home owned or rented, and what is the age, sex, race, and relationships of people in the household.
When do I have to respond by?
The response deadline is June 30. However, census workers will begin following up in person with households that have not responded by April 30, 2020.
What happens if I don’t respond?
Census workers will follow up with a home visit to households that do not respond.
What is Neighborhood Address Canvassing?
The Neighborhood Address Canvassing serves two purposes:
What happens if I don’t answer one of the questions on the survey?
The U.S. Census Bureau encourages each household to complete their questionnaire in its entirety. To ensure your questionnaire counts toward the population of your community, the response to the question regarding the number of people in the home, must be completed.
Why do you need to know all of my information?
Your answers are only used for statistical purposes. This information helps the government make informed housing and planning decisions, and fund important programs in areas of education, transportation, healthcare and so much more.
Is the census available in languages besides English?
Yes, the census offers the online and paper questionnaire in 12 non-English languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.
Additional materials and assistance are available in 59 languages. Visit 2020census.gov for more information.
What if more than one family lives in my household?
If multiple families live under one roof, each head of household per family needs to fill out the census for their household.
My child/children split their time between two households. How do I count them?
Your children should be counted in the household where they live and sleep most of the time. If they split their time equally between homes, count them where they are staying on April 1, 2020. Be sure to communicate this information with their other parent or caretaker so they aren’t counted twice or not counted at all.
My grandchildren live with me. Do I count them on my census?
Yes, if your grandchildren live with you most of the time.
My child is a newborn. Do I still count them?
Yes. Infants and babies should be counted as well.
I’m pregnant on Census Day, April 1, 2020. Do I count myself as one or two people?
Only count yourself as one person.
I am taking care of an elderly relative. Do I count them?
Yes, if your relative lives in your household most of the time.
I’m in the military or a citizen deployed overseas. How should I list my address?
Temporarily deployed military and citizen employees should count their usual home address in the United States. Stationed or assigned employees, and all dependents living with them, should list their home state of record.
I’m a college student living away from home. Do I count myself, or do my parents?
If you live and sleep in a dorm or apartment during most of the year, then count yourself as living there. Your parents should not count you as living in their household.
My living situation is not listed here.
For more information on unique circumstances and/or how to complete the questionnaire, visit 2020census.gov.
Are my answers safe online?
Yes. The U.S. Census online survey site is safe and secure.
Does the census require or include a citizenship question?
No, the 2020 Census does not include any questions about citizenship.
Are my answers private?
Yes, responses to the census questionnaire are completely confidential and anonymous. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot share census data with any other person, organization, court, business or government agency, i.e. law enforcement.
How does the U.S. Census protect my identity?
The U.S. Census never asks for social security numbers, bank account numbers, money, donations or anything on behalf of a political party. If anyone asks you for this information claiming it is for the U.S. Census, do not answer their questions and contact the U.S. Census Bureau.
I’m still not convinced.
You can learn more about privacy protections at 2020census.gov.