How will the U.S. Census Bureau contact me & how am I to respond?

For the 2020 Census, you can respond online, by mail, by phone, or through an in-person interview.


Starting in March 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin to contact households through a series of mailings:


  •     March 16-23 Mailing 1: Letter with information to take survey online will be sent to a majority of people, while about 20-25 percent of the population (with specific demographic characteristics and lower internet connectivity) will receive a letter and paper survey.
  •     March 20-27 Mailing 2: Letter to non-respondents
  •     March 30-April 6 Mailing 3: Reminder postcard to non-respondents
  •     April 12-19 Mailing 4: Letter and paper survey sent to non-respondents.
  •     April 23-30 Mailing 5: “It’s not too late” postcard to non-respondents

The Self-Response Mail Strategy from the 2018 end-to-end test is a good graphic illustration of how the process of Internet First and Internet Choice will look.


If you do not respond to these mailings, then beginning in early May 2020, U.S. Census Bureau will send enumerators out to knock on the doors of households who have not yet responded. This operation, called Non-Response Follow-Up (NRFU), will begin on April 9 for colleges and universities in order to capture student data before the spring term ends.

Show All Answers

1. Why does the U.S. Census Bureau ask the question it asks?
2. Are my answers safe and secure?
3. How do I distinguish between an authentic U.S. Census Bureau contact & fraudulent activity & scams?
4. What does "residence" mean & how do I count the "residents" in my house?
5. Do I have to respond to the census?
6. How will the U.S. Census Bureau contact me & how am I to respond?
7. I already filled out a survey from the Census Bureau last year! Why have I been contacted again?
8. What happens in communities where residents may have limited English-speaking abilities?
9. What if I still have questions or concerns?
10. How will people experiencing homelessness be counted?
11. What does Language Assistance look like in the 2020 Census?