Frequently Asked Questions
Where can you complete the census?
You can complete the census online at my2020census.gov, on the phone (844-330-2020), or respond by mail.
Most households received a census invitation in March that includes a 12-digit code unique to each address. Use this code to start completing your census. If a household has misplaced the 12-digit code they can still complete the census by selecting “I don’t have a 12-digit census code” on the online platform.
The census is available in 13 languages online and on the phone (find the different language phone lines on the census bureau website).
How long does it take to complete the census?
The census has 4 questions for the entire household and 6 question per person. On average the census takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
Do I need a Census ID to complete the census?
No, you do not need a census ID to complete the census. There is an “I don’t have a Census ID” option via the online form, you will have to provide your address instead.
What if someone is temporarily living somewhere else because of the COVID-19 crisis?
The general rule of thumb is to count a person where they sleep and eat 51% of the time.
What about college students who are temporarily home because of COVID-19?
College students who live on campus will be counted by their institution in the Group Quarters Enumeration process. Students who live outside of campus must fill out their own forms, and they are counted where they live 51% of the time.
How do people experiencing homelessness get counted?
The U.S. Census Bureau devotes three days to count people who are experiencing homelessness throughout the country. As of now, these days are April 29th-May 1st but it could change. The Bureau will follow three steps to make sure everyone is counted. They are:
- Counting people who are in shelters.
- Counting people at soup kitchens and mobile food vans.
- Counting people in non-sheltered, outdoor locations, such as tent encampments and on streets.
Why is there only two options under the question about sex?
There is only the option of male or female on the census form. We understand that this does not affirm the experiences of people who identify as trans and nonbinary or gender nonconforming. MCN hopes to continue advocating.
What happens if you don’t answer all of the questions on the census?
While you can submit a census form having not completed one or two of the prompts, we encourage everyone to fill out as many questions as they can as it may result in a follow up phone call or visit from a Census Enumerator.
Can a nonprofit worker help a person fill out their census?
Yes, you can help someone fill out their census as long as you disclose that you do not work for the U.S. Census Bureau, therefore the information they share with you is not protected under Title 13.
When is the deadline to complete the census?
May 7 is the day that early nonresponse follow up starts. Nonresponse follow up is the process of Census Bureau following up on the phone or by paying a visit to the house.