Census 2020

The 2020 Census is happening now. You can complete your questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail.

Six separate images highlighting adult, children, shops, fire engines, and roads.

Your Invitation To Respond

The time is now. Help shape your future, and your community’s future, by responding to the 2020 Census.

Most households received their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12 – 20. These official Census Bureau mailings will include detailed information and a Census ID for completing the Census online.

In addition to an invitation to respond, some households will receive a paper questionnaire (sometimes known as the census form). You do not need to wait for your paper questionnaire to respond to the Census. 

The 2020 Census is for everyone – RESPOND

Please complete your form online, by phone, or by mail when your invitation to respond arrives. Visit my2020census.gov to begin.

How To Respond

The 2020 Census will ask a few simple questions about you and everyone who is or will be living with you on April 1, 2020.

For the first time, you can choose to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. Find out more about each of these methods below:

  1. Online Response Guide
  2. Phone Response Guide
  3. Paper (Mail) Response Guide

Please note that if you are responding online, you must complete the census in one sitting, as you don’t have the ability to save your progress. See the questions the census asks here.  

If you do not receive an invitation to respond from the Census Bureau, you may respond online or visit our Contact Us page to call our phone line.

Language Support

You can complete the census online or by phone in 13 different languages: English, Spanish,  Chinese,  VietnameseKoreanRussianArabicTagalogPolishFrenchHaitian CreolePortuguese, and Japanese.

In addition, bilingual invitations and paper questionnaires in English and Spanish will be sent to select areas of the country.

To help you respond, the Census Bureau also offers webpages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in Braille and large print. Visit Language Support to learn more.

Important Dates

In mid-March, homes across the country began receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker.

April 1: This is Census Day, a key reference date for the 2020 Census—not a deadline. We use this day to determine who is counted and where in the 2020 Census. When you respond, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020, and include everyone who usually lives and sleeps in your home. You can respond before or after that date. We encourage you to respond as soon as you can.

Monitoring COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 Census operations to protect the health and safety of our employees and the public, and to ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities based on guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.
SEE OPERATIONAL ADJUSTMENTS 

Questions Asked on the Form

The 2020 Census is easy. You will answer a simple questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is or will be living with you on April 1, 2020.

Who Is Required To Respond?

Everyone living in the United States and its five territories is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.

Special Living Situations

People in some special living situations may have questions about how to respond. This includes:

  • Students.
  • Service members.
  • People in correctional facilities.
  • People who move on Census Day (April 1, 2020).
  • People who do not have fixed addresses.

Visit Who To Count for information on how people in these groups will be counted.

Impact in Your Community

School lunches. Plans for highways. Support for firefighters and families in need. Census results affect your community every day.

Helping Communities

Did you know that census data helps communities respond to natural disasters and secure funding for hospitals and fire departments? Explore these videos and stories to learn more.​

Shaping Your Future

The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.

Think of your morning commute: Census results influence highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses, subways, and other public transit systems.

Or think of your local schools: Census results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program and for grants that support teachers and special education.

The list goes on, including programs to support rural areas, to restore wildlife, to prevent child abuse, to prepare for wildfires, and to provide housing assistance for older adults.

Curious about what other programs are impacted by census data? Download this report to see a full list.

DID YOU KNOW…Census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education.

Importance of the Data

The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade.

The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation—who we are, where we live, and so much more.

The results of this once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.

The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. 

DID YOU KNOW…Each year, Census data informs federal funding for more than 100 programs, including school lunches, highway construction, and education.

Redistricting

The U.S. Constitution mandates that the country count its population once every 10 years. The results are used to adjust or redraw electoral districts, based on where populations have increased or decreased.

State legislatures or independent bipartisan commissions are responsible for redrawing congressional districts. The U.S. Census Bureau provides states with population counts for this purpose.

Federal Funding

The results of the 2020 Census will inform decisions about allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to communities across the country—for hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, and other critical programs and services.

Learn more about how census results can have an impact on your community.

Business Decisions

The 2020 Census will be valuable to businesses, as the results will provide a rich set of data on the communities they serve, including population trends and growth projections.

Business owners rely on census results to make decisions, such as where to open new stores, restaurants, factories, or offices, where to expand operations, where to recruit employees, and which products and services to offer.

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