What Will I Be Asked?
As required by the Census Act, the U.S. Census Bureau submitted a list of questions to Congress on March 29, 2018. Based on those questions, the 2020 Census will ask:
- How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020. This will help us count the country's population, and ensure that the Bureau count people once, only once, and in the right place according to where they live on Census Day.
- Whether the home is owned or rented. This will help produce statistics about homeownership and renters. The rates of homeownership serve as one indicator of the nation's economy. They also help in administering housing programs and informing planning decisions.
- About the sex of each person in the household. This allows the Bureau to create statistics about males and females, which can be used in planning and funding government programs. This data can also be used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination.
- About the age of each person in the household. Similar to recording the sex of each person, the U.S. Census Bureau creates statistics to better understand the size and characteristics of different age groups. Agencies use these data to plan and fund government programs that support specific age groups, including children and older populations.
- About the race of each person in the household. This allows the Bureau to create statistics about race and to present other statistics by racial groups. This data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as under the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act.
- About whether a person in the household is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. These responses help create statistics about this ethnic group. This is needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those under the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
- About the relationship of each person in the household to one central person. This allows the Census Bureau to create estimates about families, households, and other groups. Relationship data are used in planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone, and other households that qualify for additional assistance.
Households will be able to respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone, or through a paper questionnaire. Below are links to samples of the questionnaires that will be used during the 2020 Census in English and Spanish:
The Census Will Never Ask Certain Questions
The Census Bureau will never ask you for:
- Your Social Security number.
- Money or donations.
- Anything on behalf of a political party.
- Your bank or credit card account numbers.
If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau asks you for one of these things, you may be the target or victim of a scam. For more information, visit Avoiding Fraud and Scams.
What Happens to My Answers?
Your personal information is kept confidential. The Bureau is bound by federal law to protect your information, and your data is used only for statistical purposes.
The Bureau combines your responses with information from other households to produce these statistics, which never identify your household or any person in your household. Learn more about how the Bureau protects your information.