Census FAQ

Remember that it's census time. Please make sure to fill out the form. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials have come up with a list of common questions and answers:

I did not respond to the 2020 Census on April 1, 2020. Is it too late to participate?

Census Day, April 1, 2020, is not the start or end of the 2020 Census, it is simply a marker of who you should include on your Census form. The census started with the enumeration of remote areas in Alaska in early January and in most of the country on March 12, when households started to receive invitations to participate. In other words, it is not too late to participate! If you have not participated yet you will continue to receive reminders until April 30th.

All these mailings come addressed to me or someone in my household? These mailings will not be addressed to you or anyone in your household. Instead, it will be addressed to “RESIDENT AT” and will include a Census Bureau seal. Please do not throw any of these mailings away! Open the mailing(s) and follow the instructions.

Is the 2020 Census cancelled because of COVID-19?

The 2020 Census is not cancelled because of COVID-19. The 2020 Census is well underway. In fact, the Census Bureau has adjusted its operational timeline and households can respond until August 14, 2020. We encourage households to respond as soon as they are able to and advise them to respond by May 28, 2020 if they want to decrease their chances of being visited by a census taker. As we face this public health crisis, participating in the Census now helps secure funding for our communities. Emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic are precisely why the government needs accurate Census data.

How can I respond to the 2020 Census?

You can complete your questionnaire online at www.2020census.gov or by calling (844) 3302020 or (844) 468-2020 if you prefer to complete your questionnaire in Spanish. Phone lines are open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Some households also received a paper questionnaire and can complete their questionnaire and send it by mail. All households who have not responded to the 2020 Census by April 8, will receive a paper questionnaire starting then. You can learn how to fill out the form by downloading our form guidelines in English and Spanish.

What happens if I try to respond by phone but I am not able to speak to a Census Bureau representative?

Will the Census Bureau call me back? As of the issuance of this FAQ, due to staffing shortages, the Census Bureau temporarily turned off the option to request a call back to protect the viability of the phone system. The Bureau’s leaders recognize the inconvenience and are working on remedies so that they can reinstate the option to request a call back. We recommend that households call the Census Bureau at a later time, complete their questionnaire online or send their questionnaire by mail.

I want to respond to the 2020 Census but don’t have my 12-digit Census ID. What can I do?

Households can respond online or by phone with or without a unique identification number. If they lost or never received a Census ID, they can respond using their address. However, we recommend that households respond online or by telephone with their unique identification number if they have one.
I want to respond by mail but did not receive a paper questionnaire in the mail. Can I call the Census Bureau and request one? No, paper questionnaires will not be available on demand. However, households who have not responded to the 2020 Census by April 8 will receive a paper questionnaire starting
then.

I want to respond to the 2020 Census in Spanish but did not receive a bilingual (English/Spanish) questionnaire. What can I do?

About 13 million households nationwide are receiving bilingual (English/Spanish) mailing(s) and bilingual (English/Spanish) questionnaires. If you did not
receive one, you cannot call the Census Bureau and request one. However, you can complete your questionnaire in Spanish online at www.2020census.gov or by phone by calling (844) 468-2020.

Will the questionnaire ask me about my citizenship or immigration status?

No, the 2020 Census questionnaire does not ask about citizenship or immigration status, your social security number, or your use of public benefits. The questionnaire only asks about name, sex, age, date of birth, Hispanic origin and race, and relationships of persons in the household.

How do I answer the questions about Hispanic origin and race?

If the person is Latino, there are four boxes available to check: Mexican/Mexican-American, Puerto Rican,Cuban or Other Hispanic. If a person’s origin is
not listed, he or she can write-in the origin for that person (Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Argentinian, etc.) The person can mark more than one Hispanic origin box and write-in more than one national origin. However, the Census Bureau will only pick one Hispanic backgroundper person when reporting the statistics.

Once the person responds to the question on Hispanic origin, the Census Bureau still wants to know what race that person belongs to: White, Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander. Some Latinos consider themselves of many races and they can check as many race categories with which they identify. Some Latinos do not consider themselves as part of any of the official race categories andcan mark Some Other Race and write in what they want. It is important to know that the federal government does not consider Some Other Race to be an official category.
I am a student but my school has closed as a result of COVID-19.

Where do I get counted?

College students who were living on campus will be counted through the college administration as they usually would during group quarters enumeration. The Bureau is currently in contact with college administrators to figure out what is the best way to count students. All students who attended schools now
closed will still be counted, even if students are home April 1, 2020. Students who were living off-campus should complete the forms they received in the mail; if they have moved back home, they should use the address where they would have lived on April 1, 2020.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and measures I am not living in my usual residence. Where do I get counted?

If you are living elsewhere due to COVID-19, you should be counted at the residence where you usually live and sleep, most of the time. However, if you have moved permanently, you need to get counted at your new permanent residence. If you are afraid you may not have been counted, please call the Census Bureau or complete a census form online. The Census Bureau has procedures to eliminate duplicates, in case you have already been counted.

I am currently being affected by COVID-19 but due to my immigration status will not be receiving a stimulus check. Why should I respond to the 2020 Census?

We understand that these are very difficult and trying times and that our families are being challenged with providing for themselves and their loved ones amid the devastating impacts of a global pandemic. And despite the fact that some in our community may unfortunately be left off the stimulus package, we encourage everyone to not cut their communities short of federal funding for key educational, healthcare, and housing programs determined by census data and make themselves count.

I know someone who is currently in a prison or correctional facility. Where are they counted?

People who are living in any of the following on April 1, 2020, should be counted at the facility: correctional residential facilities, federal detention centers, federal and state prisons, and local jails and other municipal confinement facilities. However, if a prisoner or detainee was released before April 1, 2020, they should be counted at the resident where they live and sleep most of the time, as of April 1, 2020. If they do not have a place to live or sleep, they should be counted where they are staying at on April 1, 2020.

Do I need to respond to the 2020 Census to get a stimulus check?

No, you do not need to respond to the 2020 Census to get a stimulus check. Rumors linking the federal stimulus package and census response are completely false. In fact, there is no tie between the 2020 Census and the stimulus check. Because federal law requires the Census Bureau to keep
information confidential, the Census Bureau can’t share your information with other government agencies, so your responses won’t affect what public benefits you receive. However, it is still important to respond to the 2020 Census to ensure that our communities can get their fair share of resources and political power.

Will my information ever be shared with immigration enforcement, state or local authorities?

No, federal law requires the U.S. Census Bureau to keep information safe and confidential. In other words, your information will not be shared with any local, state, or federal agency. All Census staff take an oath to protect the public and uphold Title 13 of the U.S. Code and can face up to 5 years in prison or have to pay a fine up to $250,000.

I thought I responded to the 2020 Census but received a reminder from the Census Bureau. What should I do?

If you have already responded to the 2020 Census, please disregard this reminder. The Census Bureau may have sent the reminder before your  questionnaire was received. If you want to confirm that your household has completed the questionnaire, please call the Census Bureau. Furthermore, if you completed your questionnaire online, you should have received a confirmation code. If you have any doubts about whether you were counted, complete a census form online or by phone. The Census Bureau has procedures to eliminate duplicates.

With so much going on and ongoing operational changes, what is the best way to receive accurate and up to date information?

Text “CENSUS” to 97779 to receive ongoing updates from NALEO Educational Fund. You can also call our bilingual national hotline at 877-EL-CENSO to
get any of your Census-related questions answered. For resources and informational materials visit www.hagasecontar.org and www.hazmecontar.org. If these FAQs do not answer your questions, visit our website and use the chatbot function.