2020 Census

What is the Census?

The U.S. Constitution requires that every person in the United States get counted once every ten years. Most people will respond to the 2020 Census online.

Why should I be counted?

Census counts decide how many representatives each state gets in Congress. Minnesota is at risk of losing a seat in the House of Representatives in 2020. Census information is also used to distribute federal money that pays for roads, schools, hospitals, and other services. Each missed person could cost the state of Minnesota $28,000 in federal funds over the next ten years.

When will the 2020 Census happen?

The U.S. Census Bureau will start mailing 2020 Census invitations in mid-March. You can respond online or by phone as soon as your household receives an invitation. 

The official Census Day is April 1, 2020. That means you should fill out your response with the information about your household that will be true on April 1.

In response to COVID-19, you can now respond to the 2020 Census until September 30, 2020. 

How do I respond to the 2020 Census?

You can respond online, by phone, or by mail until October 31, 2020. 

You can fill in the online questionnaire using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. 

Census takers visit households who have not responded from August 11 through October 31. 

What questions are on the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census will ask for the following information for each person in your household on April 1:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race and Hispanic/Latino origin
  • Relationship to the person filling out the form

You should answer the questions for everyone who lives in your household and anyone staying with you who does not have another permanent residence. Do not count visitors or family members who do not live with you.

Is my personal information secure?

Federal law requires the U.S. Census Bureau to keep everyone’s personal information strictly confidential. Census responses can only be used to compile statistics. Your data will not be given to law enforcement or any other government agency and cannot be used against you for immigration purposes or in connection with government benefits.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s computer systems have strong security measures in place to protect your data against hackers.

How can I protect myself from scams?

The U.S. Census Bureau will never ask for: 

  • Social Security numbers
  • Bank or credit card account numbers
  • Money or donations
  • Anything on behalf of a political party

All 2020 Census takers will wear photo ID badges and will provide you with a letter from the Director of the Census Bureau on official letterhead. On request, they will also give you a phone number for their district office so you can verify their identity. Do not share personal information with anyone who comes to your door if they do not have proper identification.

To verify a census taker’s identity, you can contact the Chicago Regional Office at 1-800-865-6384 or search for the person by name in the online 2020 Census Staff Directory.

What if I am not a U.S. citizen?

The census counts all people living in the United States on April 1, not just citizens. If you are a permanent resident or a foreign citizen working or studying in the U.S., you should respond and count all people in your household. The only people who do not need to respond to the 2020 Census are visitors in the U.S. temporarily for vacation or business.

If you are undocumented you should still respond to the census. The 2020 Census will not ask for immigration status and the information you provide cannot be used against you by any law enforcement agency.

What if I am experiencing homelessness?

If you are staying in a shelter or transitional housing, staff at that facility should make sure you are counted.

If you are staying with a friend or relative on April 1 and do not have a permanent address, ask them to include you in their census response.

If you do not have a place to stay on April 1, you can still respond by telephone or through the online form.

What if I live in a senior facility or group home?

If you live in a senior facility, college dorm, military barracks, or some other type of group housing, staff at that facility will make arrangements to count all residents. You should ask the manager of your facility how you will be counted.