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What is the Census?

The US Census logo


US Census workers will be ending in-person door-to-door visits a month earlier than previously reported. Door-to-door census worker visits will now end September 30, 2020. ODP encourages residents to complete the census online or via mail. Updated July 31, 2020.

The United States Census 2020 is occurring NOW and it is important for everyone to take the time to participate.

The Census is a survey and counts everyone in the United States and asks questions about each person in each household in the country. One person from each home answers the questions. The Census happens once every ten years.

Everyone will receive a letter in the mail from the US Census Bureau. Then one person in your household will respond to Census questions in one of three ways - online, by phone, or by mail. The information provided to the US Census Bureau is private and your answers will not be shared.

If you do not complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail, a Census worker will come to the home to help you fill it out.  This will begin to happen after August 1, 2020. 

What does the Census ask?

The Census asks various questions about your household’s demographic makeup. Questions include:

  • What is your name?
  • What is your sex?
  • What is your age?
  • Are you Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish Origin?
  • What is your race?

The Census does not ask if you are a US citizen, for your social security number, or for any bank account information. Your answers on the Census will never be used to send you to jail.

Census timeline
  • April 1 – Census Day – The US Census opens for responses
  •  Self-Response  - done online, by phone or in the mail will continue through October 31, 2020.
  • August 11 through September 30, 2020  – In-person visits from Census takers for households who have not responded to the Census invitation
  • October 31, 2020 – last day to respond to the Census

How to participate in the Census

When you receive your Census invitation either by mail or when a Census taker drops it off, one person from your household can respond by online, by mail, or by phone:

If you do not have a Census invitation, you can complete the Census now by visiting and selecting ‘If you do not have a Census ID, click here’ when prompted.

If you need help completing the Census, or need to fill out the Census in another language, resources can be found at