2020 Census

Make Michigan Count!

It’s time for the United States census  and we encourage everyone to participate in this important event.

This year, for the first time ever, households can complete the census online. Also, if you prefer, the census can be completed by phone, or by returning the paper form received at your home through the mail. In addition to English, you can answer or get help in 12 other languages.

So what is the census?

The U.S. census is a headcount of every person living in the United States. It happens every 10 years.

What is it used for?

The census helps make decisions on how hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds are distributed for public services like schools, housing, hospitals, healthcare, and many more important services we rely on each day.

Do I have to participate? 

Everyone of any age living in the 50 states, District of Columbia and five U.S. territories is required by law to be counted in the census. Service members, people in correctional facilities and those who are currently homeless are also counted.


  • Mid-March 2020: An invitation to respond to the census online will be sent to every residence sometime between 12-20 March 2020.
  • End of March 2020: A reminder letter and a reminder postcard will both be sent out at the end of March to the beginning of April.
  • Beginning of April 2020: If you still haven’t responded, a reminder letter AND a paper questionnaire will be sent between April 8-16.
  • End of April 2020: A final reminder is sent between April 20-27 before a census employee comes out to visit in person.

Taking the Census

Responding by Mail

Homes will begin receiving their invitation to respond to the 2020 census between March 12–20. These official Census Bureau mailings will include detailed information and a census ID for completing the census online.

During this time, homes in areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire (sometimes known as the census form).

All homes will receive a paper questionnaire if they do not first respond online or by phone.

Responding by Phone

You have the option of completing the questionnaire by phone.

Hours of Operation: Phone lines are open every day from 7am to 2am Eastern Time.

The 2020 census can be completed by phone in the following languages:


Responding Online

Responding to the American Community Survey online is:

  • Safe, secure and confidential—your information and privacy are protected.
  • Economical—it’s the least expensive way to respond to the survey—saving taxpayers money.
  • Greener—it helps conserve paper.
  • User-friendly—offering you help screens and the ability to review your answers.


Here are some things the real 2020 U.S. census will NEVER ask you for, including:

  • Social Security Number
  • Bank or credit card account numbers
  • Money or donations
  • Political party affiliation
  • Citizenship status

If someone claiming to be from the U.S. Census Bureau asks you for any of this information, it is a scam! Do NOT cooperate. You can report these issues immediately by calling 800-923-8282.