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In addition to the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau conducts more than 30 surveys that invite individuals and households to respond.

For more information about the 2020 Census, please visit

The U.S. Census Bureau compiles information from household surveys other than the 2020 Census 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.

Your participation in both the 2020 Census and any other Census Bureau survey for which you are selected is critical. Your response to the 2020 Census cannot replace your answers to these other surveys.

To determine the sample of households that are selected to be in a survey, we use a variety of sources, some samples are address-based, others are telephone number- or person-based.

Household Survey

For household surveys other than the 2020 Census, once we select your address, we send you an official letter from the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Because most surveys are “addressed-based,” and we do not know who lives there, most letters are addressed to “the resident of."

  • Depending on the survey, there may be four options for responding: online, completing and mailing back the paper form, over the phone with one of our Contact Center interviewers, or a personal visit with one of our Regional Office field representatives.
  • If we mailed you a form, and we did not receive a completed survey from you, we may follow up with a phone call or personal visit.

To verify that a household survey other than the 2020 Census is legitimate, please refer to our list of Household Surveys first. You can also verify that the person contacting you is a Census Bureau employee by entering the name into the Census Bureau Staff Search. If you still have questions or concerns contact the Regional Office for your state and ask, “Am I in a 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:

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.

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