Complete the census by mail, online, phone

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The 2020 Census will ask a few simple questions about you and everyone who is or will be living with you on April 1 and there are many ways to respond.

Most households received an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12-20. But if that didn’t reach individuals or was misplaced, there are still ways to be counted. The census is an endeavor to count every person living in the United States and the five U.S. territories.

“The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community,” the U.S. Census 2020 notes on its website. “Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

“The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

“It's also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.”


For the first time, people can choose to complete the census online, by phone or by mail.

By April 1, most homes will have received an invitation to respond at .

Homes that have not already responded will receive a paper questionnaire in mid-April. The U.S. Census 2020 reported it is conducting special operations to count "group quarters" or locations such as college housing, nursing homes, military bases and prisons.

But residents do not need to wait for a paper questionnaire to respond to the census.

Your Census ID may be found on the letter or questionnaire you receive from the Census Bureau. These official Census Bureau mailings will include detailed information and a Census ID for completing the census online.

From May through July, census takers will follow up in person with every home that has not responded to the census.


The quickest way to respond to the 2020 Census is online with your Census ID, which links your response with your address. However, you can still respond if you don't have a Census ID. All Census IDs have 12 characters, a combination of letters and numbers. These census mailings are marked with the 2020 Census logo and show the U.S. Department of Commerce in the return address.

If you have not received anything from the Census Bureau yet, you can still respond online. Visit the online form and select “Start Questionnaire.” Below the ID field, click the link that says, “If you do not have a Census ID, click here. Once you complete your questionnaire online, a confirmation number will appear to indicate that your response was submitted successfully.


If you do not see a confirmation page, return to the online questionnaire and resubmit.

By phone

To see an image of the questionnaire, and for more information on answering each question, go online to . People can complete the questionnaire by phone. To begin, call 844-330-2020.

Customer Service Representatives are available every day from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. on the following phone lines: English (for 50 states and Washington, D.C.): 844-330-2020, Spanish (for 50 states and Washington, D.C.): 844-468-2020. And there are representatives to answer other languages.

By mail

When responding by mail, use blue or black ink to fill in the questionnaire. Do not use a pencil. When finished, return the questionnaire in the envelope provided. If you have lost your return envelope, mail your completed questionnaire to: U.S. Census Bureau National Processing Center, 1201 E 10th St., Jeffersonville, IN, 47132.

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