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Frequently Asked Questions

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    Completing the Census doesn't need to be difficult. Have a questions? We have answers!

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  • What is the census?

    Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution requires a head count of every person living in the United States, regardless of age, immigration status or type of residency. The census population count determines political and congressional representation and how federal funding is distributed to states and cities. 

  • Why completing the census is important?

    Completing the census is critically important because it determines funding for local communities and essential services, shapes congressional representation, determines legislative districts and much more.

  • What questions are on the census?

    The 2020 Census form will have a short set of questions about the number of people living in your household, their ages, race, ethnicity, marital status and housing type. For the first time, same sex couples will have the opportunity to identify themselves as such. View the sample 2020 Census questionnaire here for the full list of questions. 

  • How do I fill out the census?

    The U.S. Census Bureau will send a notice to all addresses in the U.S. beginning in March 2020. Only one person per household needs to physically fill out the census but they need to count EVERYONE in the household. So, if six people live in the house as of April 1, 2020, then the person filling out the form counts all six people. The census can be completed online, by phone or using a paper form.

  • Are my answers safe and secure?

    By law, your information is CONFIDENTIAL. The Census Bureau collects data for statistical purposes only and cannot share or publish any household specific census data including: name, address, social security number or phone number. The U.S. Census Bureau will not identify your household, any person in your household or business.

  • How can I identify Census scams or fakes from the real Census?

    The Census Bureau will never ask for:

    Full social security number or bank or credit card account numbers

    Money or donations or anything related to a political party

    Census workers will have a photo ID Badge with the Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date and a laptop or bag with a Census Bureau logo

  • What if I'm not at my residence or have more than one residence on April 1, 2020?

    People who have no permanent residence, or live at two or more residences during the year, or are traveling for long periods of time, are all counted at the residence where they live and sleep most of the time. 

  • Who gets counted?

    People living in apartments, homes, prisons, college dorms, in shelters or living outdoors are all counted where they are staying on April 1, 2020. Children living in foster care or with grandparents are counted where they live and sleep most of the time as of April 1.

  • Do I have to be a citizen to be counted?

    The census count determines how much federal funding Michigan receives for health care, education and food programs, among others, that Michigan seniors and families rely on to survive. Counting more people means more funding:

    Public schools across Michigan received more than $510 million in 2016 for education grants for tutoring, textbooks and other programs.

    Michigan received more than $2.3 billion for the WIC and SNAP programs in 2016.

    Hospitals and clinics across Michigan received nearly $13 billion in Medicaid funding in 2016 to treat residents through funding based on the census count.

  • Are there census materials offered in different languages?

    Yes! Please visit to download census materials.

  • How do I apply for census jobs?

    Want to help ensure a complete count for Michigan? The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for thousands of Michiganders to apply for census jobs, both full and part time positions, including nights and weekends. Apply here.

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