2020 Census

Responding to the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census marks the very first time that everyone in the United States will be able to respond conveniently online or by phone to be counted in the Census. The traditional paper questionnaire will also be mailed.

On March 12th the Census Bureau sent postcards to every household explaining how you can respond to the 2020 Census online or by phone. Instructions on how to access the online form and the phone number to call to answer the Census questions will be included. If you choose not to respond online or by phone or if you can’t do either, you may receive a reminder letter in the mail.

The Census Bureau also sent out paper questionnaires to all households who do not respond to the Census on April 8th and on April 20th. If there is no response, a certified census taker from your community will follow up in person. This field representative will present an ID badge that includes their name, photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date. They will also have an official bag with an electronic device, such as a laptop or smartphone, bearing the Census Bureau logo.

The Census Bureau strongly encourages the public to respond online at 2020census.gov. Households can respond online or by phone in English or 12 other languages. Households can also respond by mail using the paper questionnaire mailed to nonresponding address. For more information, call 844-330-2020 or visit 2020census.gov. To see a revised timeline for the census, visit the 2020 Census operational adjustments page.

Additional Resources

On Monday, May 25, California resumed 2020 Census work in areas that do not receive mail at their home residence.  These include households that only receive mail at a PO Box. Residences that do not receive mail at their physical address are referred to as Update Leave (UL) areas. In Santa Cruz County this is the area of Mount Hermon and Brookdale. 

In keeping with COVID-19 social distancing best practices, Census employees will be provided face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for use while dropping off packets in Update Leave areas. Employees have also been instructed to not knock or ring the doorbell, but instead will simply leave the packet on the doorstep of the residence. Each packet contains:

  • A paper Census questionnaire with Census ID
  • Census phone number to take the Census with a live person over the phone
  • www.my2020census.gov web address to respond to the Census online

If you have any questions about the upcoming Census, you should visit https://2020census.gov/ or call 800-923-8282. For information on services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call the TTY number at 800-877-8339 to reach the Federal Relay Service.

You can also call my Palo Alto Office at 650-323-2984 or my Washington, D.C. Office at 202-225-8104 for assistance. You can also find information about local events and resources near you on the following county websites: Santa Cruz CountySanta Clara County, and San Mateo County.

If you want to verify that the mailer or phone call you receive from the Census Bureau is legitimate and not an attempted scam, you can do so by following the instructions on the Census Bureau’s website here. Please note that the Census Bureau will never ask for your full Social Security number, bank account number, or passwords.

The U.S. Census Bureau has kicked off its recruiting efforts for the 2020 Census, and they are hiring census takers. They have temporary supervisory, outreach, and recruiting positions available, the pay is competitive, and the work is critical to obtaining an accurate count for next year’s Census. You can find more information on open positions here. You may also call 855-562-2020.