Frequently Asked Questions

Can census responses be shared with law enforcement or other government agencies like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?

No, Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information provided in census responses, including citizenship status. Federal law prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing personally identifiable information with other government agencies or the public for a period of 72 years. Census staff take a lifetime oath to protect census responses, with severe penalties for violations. The law prohibits personally identifiable information collected by the Census Bureau from being used against respondents by any government agency or court.

Can people respond if they have misplaced or never received the unique ID mailed or hand-delivered to their address?

Yes, people can respond online or by telephone using an option called Non-ID Response, which allows them to complete their census forms without the unique ID, as long as they provide a valid home address.

Can people respond on a smartphone or tablet?

Yes, the online form will be optimized to allow people to respond on a smartphone or tablet.

Do people have to respond online?

No, households have the option to respond to the census questionnaire in one of three ways: online, by telephone, or using a paper questionnaire.

How can my organization get 2020 Census materials (e.g. posters, pens, bookmarks)?

Census Bureau Partnership Specialists can provide 2020 Census materials. Staff can be reached at census.partners@census.gov.

The Bureau also offers downloadable materials at the link below.
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How do I identify an official census worker in person or over the phone?

Census workers must present an ID badge that includes their photo, the U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. For more information, see these additional tips from the Census Bureau for identifying census workers.

To verify, people can also contact Census Questionnaire Assistance, enter the name into the Census Bureau Staff Search (link shown below), or contact the Regional Office for Oregon at 1-800-992-3530.
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How long does it take to fill out the form?

The Census Bureau estimates that it will take about 10 minutes to complete the census questionnaire, depending on the number of people in the household.

In what languages will telephone assistance be available?

Census Questionnaire Assistance will be available in English and 12 non-English languages including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. People will also be able to use their Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) when calling.

In what languages will the online form be available?

The online form will be available in English and 12 non-English languages: Arabic, Chinese [Simplified], French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

In what languages will the paper form be available?

The paper form will be available in English and bilingual English-Spanish.

In what ways will responding to the census be accessible?

Language guides will be available in American Sign Language, Braille, and large print. Census Questionnaire Assistance will also be available to callers using a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD).

Is the online system secure?

Yes, the Census Bureau has taken significant steps to protect online responses. All information entered online is encrypted as soon as the respondent hits “submit.”

What happens if a person misses a question?

The Census Bureau strongly encourages respondents to answer every question for every person in the household, but will allow submission of incomplete questionnaires. Bureau staff may follow up on incomplete submissions.

What if I need help in some other language?

The Census Bureau will provide language guides in 59 non-English languages, shown below. The language guides cannot be used to respond to the census, but can help respondents fill out the actual form in English.

Albanian / Shqip
Amharic / አማርኛ
Arabic / العربية
Armenian / Հայերեն
Bengali / বাংলা
Bosnian / Bosanski
Bulgarian / български език
Burmese / မြန်မာစာ
Chinese (simplified) / 中文(简体)
Chinese (traditional) / 中文(繁體)
Croatian / Hrvatski
Czech / Čeština
Dutch / Nederlands
Farsi / فارسی
French / Français
German / Deutsch
Greek / ελληνικός
Gujarati / ગુજરાતી
Haitian Creole / Kreyòl Ayisyen
Hebrew / עברית
Hindi / हिन्दी
Hmong / Hmoob
Hungarian / Magyar Nyelv
Igbo / Asụsụ Igbo
Ilocano / Pagsasao nga Ilokano
Indonesian / Bahasa Indonesia
Italian / Italiano
Japanese / 日本語
Khmer / ភាសាខ្មែរ
Korean / 한국어
Lao / ພາສາລາວ
Lithuanian / Lietuvių Kalba
Malayalam / മലയാളം
Marathi / मराठी
Navajo / Diné Bizaad
Nepali / नेपाली
Polish / Język Polski
Portuguese / Português
Punjabi / ਪੰਜਾਬੀ
Romanian / Limba Română
Russian / Русский
Serbian / Cpпски
Sinhala / සිංහල
Slovak / Slovenčina
Somali / Af Soomaali
Spanish / Español
Swahili / Kiswahili
Tagalog / Wikang Tagalog
Tamil / தமிழ்
Telugu / తెలుగు
Thai / ภาษาไทย
Tigrinya / ትግርኛ
Turkish / Türkçe
Twi
Ukrainian / українська мова
Urdu / اردو
Vietnamese / Tiếng Việt
Yiddish / ייִדיש
Yoruba / Èdè Yorùbá

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What should people do if they have a question or problem?

People can call Census Questionnaire Assistance toll-free for answers to questions or to provide their household responses by phone. The phone number will be available in early 2020.

When does the 2020 Census start?

Most households will receive their census materials by U.S. mail or hand-delivery starting in mid-March. The online and telephone response options will be available starting on March 12, 2020.

Will I be asked about my citizenship status or the citizenship status of members of my household?

A question about citizenship will NOT be asked for Census 2020, the decennial survey of every resident in the United States. A question about citizenship WILL be asked for the American Community Survey, the annual survey sent to a random sample of households in the United States. In either case, the Census Bureau strongly encourages respondents to answer every question for every person in the household, but will allow submission of incomplete questionnaires.

Will there be a problem if multiple people respond online from the same location or IP address?

The Census Bureau will only restrict IP addresses as a security precaution. For example, they may block an IP address if its activity appears to pose a security threat. They are anticipating and planning for multiple responses from computers in places like libraries, or generated through other outreach activities, such as block parties.