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In addition to conducting the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau conducts various surveys that study households, businesses, schools, hospitals, and more.

The Census Bureau will notify you in advance if you are in a survey, provide different ways to respond, and may follow up with you.

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The U.S. Census Bureau will send an official letter describing the survey for which your household or business has been selected and why your participation is important. This letter describes what the survey is, what type of questions will be asked, and what you can expect as a survey participant.

For the 2020 Census, households will receive an invitation in the mail to complete the 2020 Census online or by phone. If you do not respond online or by phone, a paper form will be mailed to your address at a later date. The enclosed envelope to mail back a completed paper questionnaire would be addressed to Jeffersonville, IN, or Phoenix, AZ.

For household surveys, most mailings from the Census Bureau are addressed to “the resident of.” Household surveys from the Census Bureau are only mailed to residential addresses, not to P.O. Boxes. P.O. Boxes are not associated with specific addresses, so the Census Bureau cannot use them as a mailing destination.

If you are visited by a field representative working on a survey other than the 2020 Census and have not yet received a survey letter or notice from the Census Bureau, you can request one from the representative at your door. You may also contact the Census Bureau Regional Office for your state for more information.

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Depending on the survey, you may have different options for participating: online, by mail, in-person, or over the phone.

To learn more about how to respond to a particular survey, please refer to the informational materials you received. You can also visit the survey’s webpage.

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For the 2020 Census, households can complete their census online, by phone, or by mail. Visit 2020census.gov for information on "Ways To Respond".

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Online

Some surveys, such as the American Community Survey or the Economic Census, provide a web portal and secure login information so you can participate online. For the 2020 Census, households will receive an invitation in the mail to complete the census online.

To respond online, please refer to the login instructions you have received. You can also visit the survey’s webpage for more information about the options available for responding to that survey.

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By mail

Aside from the 2020 Census, few surveys still offer the option to be completed on paper. One notable example is the American Community Survey, which mails out paper forms to those who are unable to participate online.

If you receive a letter or a survey in the mail from the Census Bureau, the envelope contains certain information that may help you verify its legitimacy. For example:

  • U.S. Census Bureau in the return address or U.S. Department of Commerce which is the Census Bureau’s parent agency.
  • Jeffersonville, Indiana in the return address. Most census- and survey-related material gets mailed from, and returned to, our National Processing Center in Jeffersonville.

For surveys other than the 2020 Census, you may also receive a reminder letter from one of our Regional Offices or from the Census Bureau headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area.

Households will receive an invitation in the mail to complete the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. The enclosed envelope to mail back a completed paper questionnaire would be addressed to Jeffersonville, IN, or Phoenix, AZ.

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In-person

The Census Bureau has in-person interviewers that visit survey participants at their address, whether it is a house, an apartment, a gated community, or a secure building. If the Census Bureau comes to your door, we are there on official government business, the same as a postal carrier, a fireman, or a police officer.

If we do not find you at home, we may leave a note and business card or call you to provide a brief explanation that we stopped by and how to reach us.

In the case of the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey, if we do not receive your response in the mail or online or over the phone, you might receive a personal visit from a Census Bureau employee.

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By phone

Several surveys, such as the American Time Use Survey, are conducted by phone. The Census Bureau uses publicly available telephone directories to call survey participants. Because we are contacting you on official government business, the Census Bureau is not subject to the “Do Not Call” list restrictions.

If you are unable to complete a survey in person, you may have the option to complete it by phone and at your convenience. Visit the survey page for more information.

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Other

Some of our business surveys can be completed and then sent in by fax. For more information, please refer to the mailings you have received or visit the survey webpage.

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The Census Bureau may follow up with you regarding your participation in a survey. Follow-up can occur in-person, via mail, or by phone. There may be brief questions regarding the answers you provided or to conduct a quality assurance check regarding survey experience. We may also follow up with you if we have not yet heard from you.

After you have responded to the 2020 Census, you may receive a follow-up phone call from the Census Bureau. We contact a small sample of households who have completed the census as part of our quality control process. We review your response in order to ensure that we have a complete and accurate count for the 2020 Census.

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