RESPONDING TO THE 2020 CENSUS IS EASY, SAFE, AND IMPORTANT
- Easy: Households can respond online, by phone, or by mail— it only takes about 10 minutes.
- Safe: Responses to the 2020 Census are confidential, secure and protected by federal law—answers can only be used to produce anonymous statistics.
- Important: The once-a-decade count of every person living in the United States will decide how billions of dollars are distributed each year for libraries, schools, and other essential services. Residents may have questions about responding to the 2020 Census, particularly with the new online response option. Libraries are great places for people to fill out the census form online and get accurate information.
HOW WILL PEOPLE RESPOND TO THE 2020 CENSUS?
Beginning March 12, the Census Bureau will send letters to most households that explain how to respond online or by phone.
- In areas with low internet connectivity, the first mailing will include a paper questionnaire. Between April 8–16, the Census Bureau will send a paper questionnaire to every household that has not yet responded.
- The Census Bureau will use different methods to count people in certain living situations, such as people living in group facilities or whose home is transitory (see Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census).
Beginning May 13, households that have not responded will receive visits from a Census Bureau employee. Households can respond online, by phone, or by mail until July 31. CONTINUED Census Bureau mailing timeline Sample 2020 Census letter arriving March 12–20
HOW WILL ONLINE SELF-RESPONSE WORK?
Starting March 12, households can respond online at my2020census.gov—including from a smartphone or tablet. Respondents will input the unique code from their Census mailing, or else their street address. The online questionnaire must be completed in one session; draft responses cannot be saved. There is no time limit to complete the form. However, for security purposes, if there is no activity for 15 minutes, the respondent will be logged out and need to start again. A confirmation page will be displayed after submission; there will not be an email or text message confirmation.
People can respond online or by phone in 13 languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), English, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
- 2020 Census Operational Timeline
- Over 300 Federal Programs Receive Funding based on Census Reporting
- The Internet Self-Response Portal: What to Expect
- How to Avoid Misinformation and Scams
THE 2020 CENSUS COUNT IS CRITICAL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION.
- Census data determine the allocation of more than $1.5 trillion each year for essential federal programs, such as scholarships, college readiness, campus facility improvements, research, and extension programs. In addition, researchers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations use Census data to establish policy and plan services—including determining representation in Congress and state and local government. If the Census misses people in a community, its residents face economic and political disadvantages.