It’s not too late to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census

 

3.6 min read

Caregiver holding a senior woman's hands

Participating in the 2020 Census is your civic duty and helps your community get more federal funds and services.

Have you been counted in the 2020 U.S. Census? It isn’t too late!

Participating in the census is not only your civic duty, but it is the key to your community, city and state receiving its fair share of federal funds, political representation, public services and economic development projects. The more participation, the more funding your community may be eligible to receive.

Responding may seem daunting, but completing the form is now easier than ever. This year is the first time ever that the form can be completed online and it only has nine questions. It asks about your household, such as who lives with you, how they are related, their age, sex and race, whether you own or rent your home and your phone number.

For those with questions, here is a helpful guide to helping fill out the census.

Who to count?

The goal of the census is to count everyone who “usually” lives in your home. For some people this is straightforward. For those who share housing, are between housing or are living at an institution, like members of the military or in healthcare facilities, it may cause confusion.

Here’s the rule to remember: Count who is a member of your home as of April 1, 2020. This includes people who are unrelated to you who may be sleeping at your home most of the time, including anyone renting space in your home, other roommates or anyone staying at your home who has no usual home elsewhere.

For people living in institutions like healthcare facilities, with no other usual residence, you’ll be counted as a member of that institution and do not need to fill out a form yourself. For those in the military, it depends on where you live. Residents of military housing will receive a form in the mail. For others living on base or assigned to a military vessel, you’ll be contacted individually to be sure you’re counted. Service members who are deployed or stationed outside the U.S. will be counted by the U.S. Department of Defense.

And what do you do about the birth of a new child — or a death? Do you count these individuals? If a person was alive and physically living in your home on April 1, you do count them, even if they have since passed away. If a new baby was not yet born as of April 1, leave them off the form.


Fill it out

This year it’s easier than ever to fill out the Census. You may fill it out online, by phone or by mail.

  • Online
    In order to fill out your census form online, you’ll need to use your unique 12-character Census ID. You’ll find this on the letter or questionnaire you received in the mail. If you can’t find it, you can still fill out the online form by clicking the link that says “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.”        
  • Phone
    If you’d like to submit your Census answers over the phone, you may do so between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The number to call is 844-330-2020. If you need assistance in another language or if you’re hearing impaired, you can find the right number to call on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Census 2020 website.
  • Mail
    Responding by mail is easy and only takes about 10 minutes to complete. You probably received a paper questionnaire in the mail in mid-March. If you’re unsure if you received the envelope or want to know what to look for, there are samples of the 2020 Census forms in the U.S. Census Bureau website. When filling in your form, you may use blue or black ink, but not a pencil. Return your Census form in the envelope that was included in the letter from the Census Bureau. If you can’t find that envelope, you may mail your questionnaire to:

    US Census Bureau
    National Processing Center
    1201 E. 10th Street
    Jeffersonville, IN 47132

Remember, filling out your census form only takes about 10 minutes of your time, but the positive impact your answers will make on your community will last for the next 10 years.

It isn’t too late to do your civic duty — fill out a census form today.