NAR has compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help Associations and REALTOR® Members participate in the 2020 census.

What is the Census?

The Census is a population counted that is mandated by the U.S. Constitution to take place every 10 years.

Why is it important?

The Census is important, because annually 1.5 trillion federal dollars is allocated to states and localities throughout the country for federal programs and operations.  Completing the census survey means federal funds for roads, hospitals, businesses, libraries, and schools in your community.  Also, the census is used to ensure that fair representation in Congress; for redistricting;

Who should complete the Census survey?

All persons living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the five (5) U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) should complete the census survey.  This includes all children born on by April 1, 2020.

What questions are asked on the Census survey?

  • How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020?
  • What is the gender of each person living in your home?
  • What is the race of each person living in your home?
  • What is the age of each person living in your home?
  • What is your relationship to each person living in your home?
  • Is any person living in your home of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
  • Are you a renter or homeowner?

What information will never be requested?

The Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Bank or credit card information or account numbers
  • Money or donations
  • Anything on behalf of a political party

How can I respond to the Census survey?

Beginning in mid-march 2020, the Census survey can be completed by phone, by mail, or online at 2020census.gov. By mid-march, households throughout the country will receive an invitation by mail to complete the 2020 Census. 

Is the Census survey only available in English?

No. The Census Bureau has created a language guide with information about in over 59 different languages. For more information about the Census language guide and assistance, please visit: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/planning-management/language-resources/language-guides.html.

Will my responses to the Census survey be confidential?

Yes. All personal information and responses provided to the Census Bureau is protected and must remain confidential under federal law. The information that you provide to the Census Bureau can only be used for statistical reporting and informational purposes only.

Also, no federal or state law enforcement agency can access or use your personal data at any time. 

Is my data and information provided to the U.S. Census Bureau safe?

Yes.  The Census Bureau has a robust cybersecurity program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.

When should the Census survey be completed?

The Census survey is available for households to complete beginning in mid-March 2020, until June 30, 2020. 

What is National Census Day?

April 1, 2020 is National Census Day, and is a designated for Census education and awareness.  By this date, all U.S. households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 census.  For more information about National Census Day, visit 2020Census.gov.

What government entity is responsible for the Census?

The U.S. Census Bureau, which is a bureau within of the U.S. Department of the Commerce is responsible for Census administration and collecting all responses.

For additional information about the 2020 census, please visit 2020census.gov.

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2020 Census

The decennial census is important for all REALTORS® because completing the 2020 census means more resources for businesses and communities.

NAR 2020 Census Webinar

On March 4, NAR hosted a webinar with the U.S. Census Bureau on the importance of this year's decennial census and how census data are used.

Watch the recorded webinar

Download the presentation slides (PDF: 2 MB)

REALTOR® Party Resources for State and Local Associations

Please visit realtorparty.realtor/census to find out the ways that your association can be engaged on this issue.

REALTORS® can sign up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts using the form below or by texting the word REALTORS to 30644.