Census 2020 Victoria, TX

Commonly Asked Questions about the 2020 Census

  • What questions will be asked?
  • What questions will not be asked?
  • When does the 2020 Census start?
  • What is Census data used for?
  • How can I complete the 2020 Census?
  • How will the Census Bureau contact me?
  • Can college students complete the Census?
  • Can people experiencing homelessness complete the Census?
  • Can Census responses be shared with law enforcement and other governmental agencies?
  • What languages will the Census be available in?
  • Will I have to answer a question about my citizenship status?

What questions will be asked?

Everyone is asked the same Census questions. 

The Census Bureau has a webpage that details each question that will be asked on the 2020 Census.

 

What questions will not be asked?

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 contacts you and asks you for any of this information, do not answer. If you aren't sure that someone is from the Census or want to report fraud, you can contact the Census at 800-923-8282.

 

When does the 2020 Census start?

The following is a timeline of important dates regarding the Census that will affect how and when you respond:

  • March 12-20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with information on how to respond to the Census (online, by phone or by mail)
  • March 30-April 1: The Census Bureau will count people experiencing homelessness. They will count people in shelters, at soup kitchens, mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
  • April 1: Census Day! By April 1, every home will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invite arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. You'll tell the Census where you live as of April 1, 2020.
  • April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. 

For a more detailed timeline, visit the Census Bureau's Important Dates page.

 

What is Census data used for?

Census data is used to help determine how billions of dollars of federal funding will be allocated. By responding to the Census, you will be doing your part in impacting how your community receives funding for things like:

  • Highway construction
  • Grants for public transportation
  • Head start programs for schools
  • School lunch programs
  • Grants that support teachers and special education programs
  • Restoring wildlife 
  • Programs to prevent child abuse
  • Housing for older adults
  • Government representation
  • Healthcare services
  • and much more!

For more information, check out Census 2020's Impact in Your Community page.

 

How can I complete the 2020 Census?

You will have three different options for completing the Census:

  • Online
  • By phone
  • By mail

In mid-March, your household will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census.

If you are a college student that lives in a group setting (like at the dorms), please refer to our Can college students complete the Census? FAQ below.

 

How will the Census Bureau contact me?

The Census Bureau will send census materials through U.S. mail or hand-delivery.

The Census Bureau will not send you an email regarding the Census. If you receive an email do not reply, click any links, or open any attachments. If you aren't sure whether communication is from the Census Bureau or would like to report fraudulent communication, you can contact the Census at 800-923-8282.

 

Can college students complete the Census?

Yes! The Census will have different ways to count students who live in group accommodations like dorms and students who live off campus. 

  • If you live on-campus student housing like residence halls, off-campus residence halls, or other student housing facilities that are owned, leased, or managed by your college or university, U.S. Census Bureau employee will work with representation from your building to ensure that you are count. You may be asked to complete an individual census form. 
  • If you live in off-campus housing that is not owned, leased, or managed by your college or university, such as a private house that you share with other students or a privately owned apartment, you can respond online, by phone, or by mail beginning in mid-March 2020. You should count yourself at your off-campus address, even if you spend time somewhere else during school breaks. 
    • The UHV Library has public computers where you can fill out the 2020 Census.

If you are an international student, the same rules apply.

 

Can people experiencing homelessness complete the Census?

The Census wants to count everyone, including those who are experiencing homelessness. From March 30-April 1, the Census Bureau will count people experiencing homelessness. They will count people in shelters, at soup kitchens, mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered outdoor locations such as tent encampments.

It is important to remember that the Census does not share any of your personal data with law enforcement or other governmental agencies. Census data is used to inform decisions about billions of dollars of federal funding for services that seek to help those who are homeless.

 

Can Census responses be shared with law enforcement and other governmental agencies?

No. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information private. Because of Title 13, the Census cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business to anyone...including law enforcement agencies. Your private data is protected and your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. Your Census response is only used to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not allowed to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.

 

What languages will the Census be available in?

You will be able to fill out the Census in 13 languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Vietnamese
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Arabic
  • Tagalog
  • Polish
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Portuguese
  • Japanese

There will be video and text guides on the Census available in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in braille and large print.

 

Will I have to answer a question about my citizenship status?

No. The 2020 Census will not include a question about your citizenship. Three federal courts have blocked the Trump Administration's attempt to get this question onto the 2020 Census. Other Census surveys, like the yearly American Community Survey already collect information about citizenship.