Census Facts vs. Myths

2020 United States Census


Does the 2020 Census ask about citizenship status?

NO. The 2020 Census does not ask whether you or anyone in your home is a U.S. citizen.

Are non-citizens counted in the census?

Everyone counts. The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the country, including non-citizens.

Can my answers be shared with law enforcement or used against me?

The law prevents the Census Bureau from sharing your information with law enforcement. Your answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for government benefits. Your answers are only used to create statistics about our country. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to protect your personal information and keep it strictly confidential. That’s every answer, to every question.

Census WebsiteTaking 2020 Census online only takes a few minutes at 2020census.gov

Can I only take the census online?

The 2020 Census will be available online, by phone, and by mail. Online and phone responses can be completed in 13 languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese). A paper form will be mailed to every house that hasn’t responded already when we send our fourth mail piece out.

Questions You WON'T Be Asked

What questions WILL NOT be asked during the 2020 Census?

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 contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it's a scam! 

  1. 'We Need Good Data'

    The data the Census Bureau collects will determine how much Congressional representation each state has and where billions of federal dollars may be allocated. That data is also essential to helping crime analyst determine where criminal activity is concentrated in relationship to population density, income levels, unemployment, mental wellness resources and other demographics.

    And with COMBAT's focus on being data-driven, COMBAT Director has stressed the need for people to take the Census because "we need good data to make good decisions."

  1. Census Day

    April 1 is Census Day—no fooling. When taking the Census you'll be asked where you lived as of April 1, 2020 and how many other people lived in your household.
  1. Participation Legally Required

    The Census Bureau would prefer you participate in the Census as a "matter of civic responsibility." However, the U.S. Code does require your participation with penalties—up to a $5,000 fine—for failing to fully comply.
    » IT'S THE LAW