How do I respond to the 2020 Census?

For the first time, in 2020 the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online. The process will be quick and secure. You can respond to the census in less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee. You’ll still be able to respond by mail.

Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone.

Nearly every household will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census from either a postal worker or a census worker.

  • 95% of households will receive their census invitation in the mail.
  • Almost 5% of households will receive their census invitation when a census taker drops it off. In these areas, the majority of households may not receive mail at their home’s physical location (like households that use PO boxes or areas recently affected by natural disasters).?
  • Less than 1% of households will be counted in person by a census taker, instead of being invited to respond on their own. Census does this in very remote areas like parts of northern Maine, remote Alaska, and in select American Indian areas that ask to be counted in person.

The 2020 Census has special procedures to count people who don’t live in households, such as students living in university housing or people experiencing homelessness. Learn more about Counting People in Group Living Arrangements.

Note: Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision from June 27, 2019, there will be NO citizenship question on the 2020 decennial Census questionnaire.

Beginning March 2020, the Census can be completed online at


Language Guides (PDF) in 59 languages will help respondents complete the 2020 Census. Guides will also be available in braille and large print. Also, the U.S. Census Bureau provides translated web pages.

Watch the English video guide to completing the Census.

Census Timeline