What is the Census?

The U.S. Census—mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution—counts every resident in the United States every 10 years. The data collected is used to make many determinations that impact American citizens, including how many members of Congress a given state has and how federal funding for some programs is allocated.

What To Expect

By April 2020, all households will have received an invitation to participate in the census. You'll then have three options to respond: online, by phone, or by mail. Census Day will be April 1st, 2020 meaning that when you complete the census, you'll need to note where you are living on April 1st. There will be events taking place across the country to highlight this critical day. The questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to complete, and only one person per household can fill out the information.

The Census will be in 12 non-english languages including: Spanish, Chinese (Simplified Chinese for the online version), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Japanese, and over the phone, Mandarin and Cantonese.

A New Design

A lot has changed since the last census in April 2010. The biggest change is going from a paper to an online survey. Most households will receive a mailed invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau to complete the census online. It will be accessible by desktop computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

For areas of the country with low internet access, as well as any non-responding households, residents will receive a paper questionnaire. Respondents can also call a toll-free number to conduct the questionnaire with a call center representative.


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