Thursday is the last day to complete the 2020 census — here's how

The U.S. Census Bureau's field operations end Thursday, so time is running out to complete the once-a-decade survey.


The U.S. Census Bureau's field operations end Thursday, so time is running out to complete the once-a-decade survey.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled the Trump administration could end 2020 census field operations Thursday, which was two weeks later than it had tried to end it as the case made its way through the courts.

The administration argued that the once-a-decade head count needed to end immediately to give the bureau time to meet a year-end deadline. Congress requires the bureau to turn in by Dec. 31 the figures used to decide the states' congressional seats — a process known as apportionment.

The ruling increased the chances of the Trump administration retaining control of the process that decides how many congressional seats each state gets — and, by extension, how much voting power each state has.

With the deadline approaching, here are some tips from the Census Bureau to ensure you are counted.


Participants can respond online using a computer, smartphone or tablet at The bureau says the questionnaire should take about 10 minutes.

The questionnaire must be completed in one sitting — if you leave, you will have to restart the next time you log in. The site also cautions not to use the back or forward buttons on your browser.

Participants will need to enable cookies on their browser and use the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari to complete the questionnaire.

The questionnaire is offered in English and 12 other languages. You will received a confirmation number once you complete the questionnaire.

Internet self-response will be available across the nation through 5:59 a.m. EDT Friday — or 11:59 p.m. Thursday in Hawaii.

By phone

You can complete the questionnaire by phone by calling 844-330-2020. For English and Spanish speakers, representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. EDT every day.

For 11 other languages, representatives are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. EDT. A list of phone numbers for each language can be found here.

By mail

Most homes should have received an invitation by mail in March, which would include a Census ID number (you can use that number to assist in completing the online form, as well).

By mid-April, the bureau mailed questionnaires to homes that had not yet responded by phone or online.

Questionnaires must be returned in the provided envelope using black or blue ink. They should be mailed to:

U.S. Census Bureau
National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47132

The bureau urges participants to make sure their census form is legitimate.

The Census Bureau will never ask you for:

  • Your full Social Security number
  • Your bank account or credit card numbers
  • Anything on behalf of a political party
  • Money or donations

Paper responses must be postmarked Oct. 15. For more information on completing the census by mail, click here.

The Associated Press contributed.