The U.S. Census Bureau has been preparing for this once-a-decade population count for years. The question is: Are you ready?
Here are 10 quick tips to help you to respond and it should take just a few minutes:
- If you don’t regularly check the mail, please do so now. By now, most households have received at least one invite to respond to the 2020 Census, which includes instructions for how to respond online, by phone, or by mail.
- Even if you don’t get an invitation in the mail, you can go online at 2020census.gov and respond now. You don’t have to wait for the paper questionnaire to arrive either.
- Your name isn’t on it. The invitation will be addressed to “Resident” – that’s you (and everyone in your household). Don’t throw it out just because your name isn’t on it. But do be aware of scam and fraud mail – learn more here.
- Determine how you will respond: online, by phone, or by mail. If you want to answer on paper, you can. Paper questionnaires are arriving by mail to households that haven’t yet responded.
- Responding online is easy. Your invitation includes a Census ID number. But if you lose it, you can use your address. You can go online on any device including a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Remember: If you respond online, you must complete the census in one sitting. You will not have the ability to save your progress and come back to finish.
- You can respond in English and 12 different languages online and by phone. There will be a drop-down menu online, or a special phone number on your invitation. Other languages are: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese. The Census Bureau also offers webpages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, and guides in Braille and large print.
- On the paper questionnaire use blue or black ink – no pencils! You can write in the margins, though, if you need space. Be sure to return the questionnaire in the envelope provided. If you lost it, return it to: U.S. Census Bureau, National Processing Center, 1201 E 10th Street, Jeffersonville, IN 47132.
- Figure out who is “Person 1/Head of Household.” If you’re the only person in your home, then you are Person 1. If more than one person lives in your home, Person 1 is generally someone whose name is on the mortgage or rental agreement and who is over age 15.
- Count everyone who lives in your home – including children. Count everyone who lives and sleeps in your home most of the time, including relatives, friends and others. Learn more about who to count and special circumstances for specific groups of people such as military. If more than 10 people live in your home, respond online at 2020census.gov where there is plenty of space.
- Respond as soon as you can. Respond on your own now to avoid a visit from a census taker later this year.
Learn more at 2020census.gov.