When does the Census begin?
Census questionnaires will be available on March 12, 2020. Expect to get a postcard reminder from the Census Bureau in early March. Census Day is April 1, 2020. Your answers to census questions should reflect your household information on that day.
How do I complete the Census?
The Census questionnaire is available as a paper form or online. Census questions can also be answered over the phone, or in-person with a Census Bureau representative. Completing the census should take no more than about 10 minutes (depending on how many people are in your household).
What Languages are on the Census?
|Paper Census Forms||English and Spanish|
|Online or by phone||English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Japanese, Includes Telecommunication Device for the Deaf|
|Video and printed guides||Available in 59 non-English languages, find out which ones HERE|
Here’s what questions to expect on the 2020 Census form:
To ensure that each household member is counted only once.
- How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020
Census data helps us recognize important trends in our society, such as whether young adults are living with their parents or moving in with roommates.
- Relationship of each person in your home
On the questionnaire, “Person 1” is the “reference person” for the household. Person 1 completes the census and indicates their relationship to everyone in the household.
- Whether the home is owned or rented
This generates statistics about homeownership and renting to see how the nation’s economy is doing. The data also informs where new houses are built.
Each individual is asked to identify as either male or female. The data is used to enforce rules against gender-based discrimination. Additional options related to sexual orientation and gender identity are not included on the census.
Age and date of birth questions ensure each person’s age is reported accurately and that each person is counted only once. The data informs plans for new schools, Head Start funding, services for seniors and is used to enforce age discrimination laws.
The census form includes 15 racial categories, or individuals can write in any race not included. The data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination laws, including the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
- Whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
Hispanic origin is considered separately from race in the census, and Hispanics may identify with any race. This data is also used to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws.
The Census Bureau will never ask for:
- A full Social Security number
- Bank or credit card account numbers
- Money or donations
- Anything on behalf of a political party
- Any personal passwords
- Your mother’s maiden name
A U.S. Supreme court ruling also prohibits questions about a person’s citizenship or immigration status on the Census.
ALSO: The Census Bureau cannot threaten arrest or jail time if someone does not answer questions or take part in the Census. Participation is required by law, but fines are the only possible punishment.