What You Should Know

Frequently Asked Questions

View Census FAQs (PDF)

We have received some questions about the online form populating a city name based on a zip code. Sometimes the city does not match the city where the household actually lives. This is because there are sometimes more than one community name associated with a zip code, but the Census Bureau only uses the "main" post office city. However, the Census Bureau doesn’t use the mailing city to assign population to city. The Census Bureau counts people at the physical location of a housing unit and assigns the population to the appropriate city based on location. For more information, please see the U.S. Census Bureau’s guidance on this issue.

Census and COVID-19

Everyone plays an important role in protecting the community from the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus for COVID-19 updates and resources. 

The Census Bureau has extended the self-response and the non-response follow up (i.e. Census Bureau staff knocking on doors) until the end of October. See the 2020 Census Schedule Adjustments (PDF)

When is the Census Happening?

In March 2020, your household will receive an invitation to participate in the Census. You’ll have three options to respond: online, by phone, or by mail. Census Day is April 1, 2020. 

See Other Important Dates.

Most people will receive mailing from the Census at their home. If you live in an area with no mail delivery, someone from the Census Bureau will drop an invitation letter and form at your home. The Census Bureau has a map of mail contact strategies so you can see what type of contact the Census Bureau is planning for your community.

Where to Get Help
Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QAC)

All Contra Costa County and City of Richmond libraries will have computers and resources to help with completing your census form. In addition, another 45 locations throughout the County are available as Questionnaire Assistance locations. 

Who Counts on My Census? 

To ensure a complete and accurate count, the Census Bureau counts people at their usual residence, which is the place where they live and sleep most of the time, with a few exceptions. People who do not have a usual residence should be counted where they are on Census Day (April 1, 2020).

The Census Bureau has special procedures to count people who live in more complex situations, including: people experiencing homelessness, students, people in correctional facilities, active duty service members, and people living in shelters. 

Find out more about Who to Count on My Census.            
See an example of the Census 2020 Form.

Census Workers in My Neighborhood

Starting in 2019, you may begin to notice census workers in your neighborhood. This is a normal part of the 2020 Census preparation and data collection process. Census field representatives will also continue to collect information for the American Community Survey (ACS) and other ongoing surveys. 

Avoiding Fraud and Scams

The U.S. Census Bureau is committed to making the 2020 Census quick, easy, and safe for all participants. Here are some tips to help you stay safe.

The Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Your social security number
  • Your bank account or credit card numbers
  • Money or donations - including requests for political donations

Learn more about avoiding frauds and scams.

Republican National Committee Mailers

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is sending fundraising mailers in California and other states that look like the official U.S. Census form. This is NOT an official census form.

Partner with Us

Your business, church, school, or non-profit agency can help make sure we get a full count. Learn more...

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