This year there are three options for completing the Census ourselves.

  • Online.
  • By mail.
  • By phone.

You can choose any of these three options, and responding as soon as you get the form means that a Census Taker is unlikely to stop by your home.

Most of us will be able to respond online using the very first “Internet Self-Response” process. This is something you can do as soon as you get the information contained in the form that is mailed to you.


A step-by-step guide on how to complete the US’s first online Census questionnaire. (6:54)

This short, easy-to-follow video published last month by the US Census Bureau provides a glimpse at what it will look like to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online. Not only does this video serve as a tutorial for completing the form, it also includes helpful tips about how to respond to certain questions around residence criteria and living situations that may be more complex.


If you don’t have computer and internet access to complete the online Census Questionnaire from home, stay tuned for a map of mobile Questionnaire Assistance Centers staffed by Census-trained questionnaire helpers. Many of these will be at familiar locations like libraries, schools, government buildings, and local businesses.


By Mail

You will receive a Census Questionnaire in the mail sometime between March 12-March 20.

You can respond simply by completing and mailing back the form you receive in the mail. This is what most of us who have responded to the Census in the past are familiar with. When answering the Census Questionnaire, you may find these guides from the U.S. Census Bureau very helpful. They are available in over 60 languages.

By Phone

Even if you plan to respond to the Census online or by phone, you will need to wait until you receive your form for necessary information like the best number to call and your Census ID number. You might also want to review these guides before responding, though the telephone Census Taker will be able to answer any questions that arise about how to respond as well.