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Help & FAQs

We want to make sure you have answers to all of your questions about the 2020 Census.


Confused about something you've seen or heard about the 2020 Census? Help us set the record straight at 2020 Census Rumors, and learn more about the Census Bureau's Trust & Safety Team.

Popular Questions

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When answering "What is this person's race?", you are asked to select one or more boxes and enter detailed origins in the fields below each checkbox.
If you check a box, but leave the origin fields blank, a message will appear at the top of the screen and the blank field will be highlighted in red.
If you do not know this person's origin, click next again to continue completing your response.

Households began receiving invitations to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12-20. There are additional reminders to respond that will be mailed throughout the month. Once you receive your invitation, you can respond online, by phone, or by mail. If a household does not respond to the 2020 Census, a census taker will follow up in person to collect their response. This will occur between May-July.

Everyone is asked about their information as of the same day, April 1, 2020.

The 2020 Census asks how many people are living or staying at each address. For each person, we ask about name, sex, age, date of birth, relationship, Hispanic origin, and race. We also will ask whether the housing unit, such as the house, apartment, or mobile home, is owned or rented, and for contact information in case additional information is needed.

Learn more about the questions asked.

Yes. You can respond online in English and in 12 additional languages: Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.

The online questionnaire conforms with the latest web accessibility guidelines. There is also a video in American Sign Language to guide you through responding online. We’ll also make help available by phone in those same languages.

You can respond by phone in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese. The paper form can be completed in English or Spanish.

The 2020 Census counts each person in the U.S., where they live on April 1. The decennial census happens every ten years ending in zero.

Unlike the decennial census, the American Community Survey is an ongoing survey that only collects information from selected addresses. The American Community Survey asks questions that are not on the census. This includes education, employment, and transportation, and provides communities with up-to-date data every year.

Yes. Please respond to both the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey. For help with the American Community Survey, call 800-354-7271 or visit

By law, the U.S. Census Bureau can use your responses only to produce statistics. 2020 Census results will help in directing billions of dollars in federal funds to communities for schools, roads, and other public services. Results from the 2020 Census will also help to determine the number of seats that each state has in Congress.

Learn more about why your answers matter.

We take our responsibility to protect your information very seriously. The Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 ensures that your data is protected from cybersecurity risks. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. By law, the Census Bureau can use your responses only to produce statistics. If you respond online, all web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy. If you respond using a paper questionnaire, your completed questionnaire will be destroyed after processing.

No. Your information is completely confidential and protected by law and cannot be shared with any other government agencies, including law enforcement or immigration officials. Federal law (U.S. Code Title 13, Section 9) protects your privacy and keeps your answers safe and secure. By law, the U.S. Census Bureau can use your responses only to produce statistics.

Additional FAQs by Category

Contact Us

For questions about responding to the 2020 Census, call 844-330-2020 from 7am to 1am Eastern Time or visit our Language Support page for help in additional languages.

Explore Key 2020 Census Topics

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