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Response Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to do when you receive the Census invitation

By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:

  • Online (including from your phone)

  • Phone

  • Mail

Why is the Census required?

Why is the census so important? The results are used to determine how much funding local communities receive for key public services and how many seats each state gets in Congress. State and local officials also use census counts to draw boundaries for congressional, state legislative, and school districts.

If you do not respond, the U.S. Census Bureau will follow up in person to collect your response.

Questions that will be asked

Example questions will include:

  • How many people are living or staying in your home on April 1, 2020?

  • Is your home owned or rented?

  • What is the age, sex, and race of each person in your home?

  • Is anyone in your home of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?

  • How is each person in your home related to you?

The Census will never ask for:

  • Your Social Security number

  • Money or donations

  • Anything on behalf of a political party

  • Your bank or credit card account numbers

If anyone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via phone or email to ask you one of these questions, it is a scam and you should not provide the information.

Who is required to participate in the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census will count everyone living in the United States and the five U.S. territories as of April 1, 2020; including children.

​Special Circumstances may allowed for: 

  • Babies born on Census Day

  • People who die on Census Day

  • People who move on Census Day

  • Visitors on Census Day

  • Foreign Citizens in the US

  • Students

  • US Military Personnel

  • People in Shelters

  • People Displaced by Natural Disaster

  • People in Prisons & Correctional Facilities

  • People in Health Care Facilities

If any of these apply to you, please use the link below to learn about the special instructions on how you should participate in the 2020 Census.

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.

The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail. This will mark the first time that you will be able to respond to the census online.