Washington DC – Every household can now respond to the 2020 Census online, by mail, or by phone. Responding to the census should take about 10 minutes.
Your Response Matters
The U.S. Constitution requires a census of all residents in the entire country every 10 years. The census counts every person living in the U.S. once (and only once) in the right place. You are counted based on where you are living on April 1, 2020.
You might be living in an apartment, house, group housing situation (like a dorm or nursing home). You might be experiencing homelessness. Regardless of your living situation, you count as a Pennsylvanian. It also doesn’t matter what your citizenship status is, how old you are, or your gender. If you live here, you matter to us and the census.
Neighborhoods change over time. The census makes note of these demographic changes and reports the statistics. This information is then used to determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pennsylvania currently has 18 Congressional representatives. We used to have 19 but lost a seat after the 2010 Census.
Additionally, state officials use the statistics produced by the decennial census to redraw U.S. congressional and state legislative districts.
Federal Spending & Programs
Census data are used to decide how $675 billion in federal public funding is spent every year. Pennsylvania gets $26.8 billion annually through our 16 largest federally-funded programs. That’s about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian each year.
These numbers may change based on our 2020 Census data. Federal funding supports many important programs and services for Pennsylvanians, including in healthcare, food security, education, transportation, housing, community development, support for families, and more.
Responding Online, by Phone, or by Mail
Responding to the U.S. Census has never been easier. It is safe, secure, and confidential whether you respond online, by mail, or by phone. Your census answers are anonymous, and your information and privacy are protected.
Questionnaires are available in a selection of languages online and by phone. The U.S. Census Bureau offers guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, Braille, and large print. Visit the Language Support webpage to learn more.
This is the first time residents can respond to the census online, using a computer, phone, or tablet. If you respond using the online questionnaire, know that you cannot save your progress. You must complete the census in one sitting.
Take the Census
Responding by Phone
You can complete your census questionnaire by phone. Phone lines are open every day from 7AM to 2AM Eastern Time.
The 2020 Census can be completed by phone in the following languages:
Chinese (Mandarin): 844-391-2020
Chinese (Cantonese): 844-398-2020
Haitian Creole: 844-477-2020
English (for Puerto Rico residents): 844-418-2020
Spanish (for Puerto Rico residents): 844-426-2020
TDD (Telephone Display Device): 844-467-2020
Responding by Mail
Homes will begin receiving their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12 through April 1. Homes in areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire with their initial invitation. Bilingual invitations and paper questionnaires in English and Spanish will be sent to select areas of the country.
Follow-up mailings to households that do not respond online or by phone will include paper questionnaires.
When responding, use blue or black ink to fill in the questionnaire. Do not use a pencil. For more information on the questions asked in the questionnaire, visit the Questions Asked webpage.
When finished, return the questionnaire in the envelope provided. If you have lost your return envelope, please mail your completed questionnaire to:
U.S. Census Bureau National Processing Center
National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47144
Census Day is April 1, 2020
Mark your calendar. April 1, 2020 is National Census Day. By this date, every home will have received their invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. When you respond to the census, you tell the U.S. Census Bureau where you are living as of April 1, 2020.