How to take the 2020 census

National

FILE – In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo, a worker gets ready to pass out instructions on how to fill out the 2020 census during a town hall meeting in Lithonia, Ga. Although the 2020 census kicked off in rural villages of Alaska in January, the rest of the nation gets to start participating in the once-a-decade head count in the coming days. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News/ AP)-  The 2020 census kicked off in Utah on Thursday.

The 2020 Census is easier to take than ever before. For the first time, it can be done in minutes online including on your phone.

  1. Fill it out online
  2. Call by phone. 1-844-330-2020
  3. Send questionnaire by mail

WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS?

The form asks how many people live in the household as of April 1, whether the home is owned or rented, and the form-filler’s age and sex. They ask people to identify themselves by race, declare whether they’re Hispanic or not, and provide details about their country of origin. All other residents in the household must answer, or have the first form-filler answer for them, the same questions on age, sex, race and Hispanic origin. They must specify their relationship to the form-filler and if they live elsewhere, like away at college. For the first time, same-sex couples will be able to identify as such, either as spouses or unmarried partners.

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IS THERE A CITIZENSHIP QUESTION?

No. The Trump administration tried to add the question, but the U.S. Supreme Court blocked it.

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WHAT IF I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH?

Besides English, respondents will be able to answer the census questionnaire in Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese. Guides in both video and print are being issued in 59 languages, including American Sign Language.

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WHO GETS COUNTED?

Everyone residing in the United States and the five U.S. territories, including non-citizens and immigrants living in the country illegally. Prisoners are counted in the facilities where they live, and military personnel temporarily deployed overseas are counted at their home addresses in the U.S.

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WILL MY INFORMATION BE SHARED?

No. Under federal law, all responses are kept completely confidential, and they can be used only to produce statistics.

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WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Because the 2020 census is used to determine who your representative in Congress is, where new businesses can build, how crowded your local schools will get over the next decade, and whether highways in your community get money for repairs. The results of the 2020 census help determine the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending, as well as how many congressional seats each state gets.

The Census Bureau asks that you include everyone who lives in your home as of April 1 and residents are asked to use the Census ID included in the invitation. You can also respond without it by providing your address.

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