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Census 2020: Census 2020: The Basics

A guide to the 2020 Federal Census

How to take the Census

Almost all households will receive an invitation letter in the mail with instructions for responding to the census online. The invitation will include a unique identification code called a Census ID or User ID. Using the Census ID helps the Bureau keep track of responses and prevent duplication.

However, the Census ID is not required in order to respond online or by telephone. If respondents don’t have their Census ID handy, they can use their address instead.

Preview of the 2020 Census

Video preview by the U.S. Census Bureau 

Questions on the Census

The 2020 Census is easy. You will answer a simple questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is living with you on April 1, 2020. You will select whether the home is owned or rented; the gender of each person in the home; the age of each person in the home; the race of each person in the home; if people in the home are of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin; and the relationship of each person in the home. That's it!

Confidentiality

Your personal information is kept confidential. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by federal law to protect your information, and your data is used only for statistical purposes. The Census Bureau combines your responses with information from other households to produce these statistics, which never identify your household or any person in your household.

Avoiding Fraud

The Census Bureau will NEVER ask for:

  • your Social Security number
  • your bank account or credit card numbers
  • money or donations

There is NOT a census app. If anyone suggests that, it is a scam. 

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