About Household Surveys

The U.S. Census Bureau compiles information from household surveys to produce statistics that describe populations and their characteristics, such as age, education, housing and income. We collect this data by asking household members to provide information about the people who live in the house, apartment, mobile home or group housing.

For households, once we select your household for a survey or census, we send you an official letter from the U.S. Census Bureau director. We address the letter to “resident”.

  • Depending on the survey, there are four options for responding: online, by completing and mailing back the form, in a phone interview, or through an in-person interview with a trained Field Representative at your home. We will provide you with specific instructions about how to respond to your survey.
  • If we mailed you a form, and we do not receive a completed survey from you, we may follow up with a phone call or personal visit from one of our trained interviewers. Sometimes, a Census Bureau Field Representative will contact you directly and provide information about the survey at that time.  

To verify that a household survey is legitimate, please refer to our list of Household Surveys first.  If you still have questions or concerns contact the Regional Office for your state and ask, “Am I in a survey?”

household survey

We conduct household surveys: 

  • online/internet
  • by mail
  • by phone or
  • in-person

The Census Bureau will always tell you whether your participation is mandatory or voluntary, and we encourage you to answer all questions asked.  To learn more about which surveys require mandatory participation, please find your survey - List of All Surveys.

When the data are processed, we remove all personally identifiable information so no person or household is recognizable. The combined data yield general facts and figures such as the number of people with a high school diploma in a given state.  People and businesses then use these statistics to study trends, reach conclusions, and make informed decisions.

To learn more about our Household Surveys, use the links below.

Top 5 Household Surveys

View our list of Household Surveys

Was Your Survey Not Listed?