The 2020 Census is here!

Posted on Mar 12, 2020 in Decennial Census, Main, Whats New Releases

Today, the country starts responding to the 2020 Census.  For the first time ever, you can respond to the census online or over the phone, but there’s still the paper questionnaire too.  In addition to the new the ways to respond, the Census Bureau has expanded language support for the questionnaire.

Responding online

Between March 12-20, 2020, most households will be mailed an invitation to respond to the census online.  Along with your invitation, you can expect to find an overview of the census and a description of language assistance.

The invitation will include a unique Census ID that you can enter at If you don’t receive a letter or don’t have it when you’re thinking about responding, that’s okay– you can still respond using your street address.

Once online, you can choose to answer the census in one of 13 languages– English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.  There are web pages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in braille and large print.  Language support is found at

Responding over the phone

You can use the same Census ID to respond to the census over the phone.  The toll free phone numbers will connect you with a live customer service representative that can answer your questions about the census and assist you with the questionnaire.

There will be dedicated customer service representatives for 14 different languages, and there will be a phone option for Telephone Display Devices (TDD).

Telephone numbers for Census Questionnaire Assistance

Language lineToll-free number
Tagalog 844-478-2020
Chinese (Mandarin)844-391-2020
Chinese (Cantonese)844-398-2020
Language line Toll-free number
Russian 844-417-2020
Haitian Creole 844-477-2020
For hearing impaired:
Telephone Display Device (TDD)844-467-2020

Responding using the paper questionnaire

In some cases, households will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation to respond in the mail.  For portions of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii counties where mail is delivered to a P.O. Box rather than to a physical address, census takers will visit households to hand-deliver invitations and paper questionnaires.  If you haven’t received your questionnaire, you can still respond online or over the phone using your physical address.

Starting April 8, paper questionnaires will also be mailed to all households that have not yet responded to the census.

Census takers at your home

It doesn’t matter which initial invitation you get or how you get it– a census worker will follow up in person with all households that don’t respond online, over the phone, or with the paper questionnaire. Between May through August, you’ll notice census takers in your communities– they are there to help households that have not yet responded to the census. You can still respond on your own during this period. If you do, yours will be removed from the list of households to visit. You are encouraged to answer all questions on the 2020 Census to avoid having a census taker knock at your door.

You can identify a census worker by their ID badge, which will include their name, photograph, the Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Census workers will also be carrying an official Census Bureau bag and an electronic device with the Census Bureau logo.

To learn more about responding to the 2020 Census, view our full 2020 Census guide at