Structure of Questionnaire

Just 10 Minutes

Census 2020 will be one of the fastest to complete in census history. Starting with the Census 2020, residents will only be required to complete a ten-question short form instead of either a short or long form. The questions will relate to name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, relationship and housing tenure. In the past, the long format captured detailed socioeconomic information; however, that information will now be collected annually through the American Community Survey.


The Decennial Census vs. the American Community Survey (ACS)

The American Community Survey, sometimes referred to as the ACS, is a nationwide survey that collects essentially the same information on people and housing that was collected on the long-form questionnaire used in Census 2000. The American Community Survey is a continuous survey, in which each month a sample of housing unit addresses receives a questionnaire. About three million addresses are surveyed each year. The frequency of collection will be random within the next ten years, pulling from a rotating sample of the population.

The 2020 decennial census is conducted once every 10 years. Unlike the ACS, the information collected during the decennial census will help communities receive over $400 billion in federal funding each year for things like hospitals, schools, job training centers, senior centers, emergency services, and public works projects. Also, the data collected by the census will help determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Language Assistance

For the first time in the history of the Decennial Census, over 13 million questionnaires will be printed with both English and Spanish on the same form. In addition, the questionnaire will also be printed in 5 additional languages: Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese. For anyone that speaks another language or has trouble filling out a questionnaire due to a disability, there will be 59 Language Assistant Guides available and one-on-one help at Questionnaire Assistance Centers. Census Bureau workers, hired from the local community, will be on-hand to help at those locations and can nationally assist in over 100 different languages. Both sample questionnaires and Language Assistant Guides are available on the right side this page.


Sample Questionnaire

Question 1: How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on May 1, 2008?

Question 2: Were there any additional people staying here May 1, 2008 that you did not include in Question 1? Mark all that apply

Question 3: Is this house, apartment, or mobile home? Mark ONE box.

Question 4:
 What is your telephone number? We may call if we don’t understand an answer.

Question 5: Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person living here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1’s name?

Question 6: What is Person 1’s sex? Mark ONE box.

Question 7: What is Person 1’s age and what is Person 1’s date of birth? Please report babies as age 0 when the child is less than 1 year old.

NOTE: Please answer BOTH Question 8 about Hispanic origin and Question 9 about race. For this census, Hispanic origins are not races.

Question 8:
 Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
 No, not of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
 Yes, Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano Yes, Puerto Rican
 Yes, Cuban Yes, another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin – Print origin, for example, Argentinean, Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Spaniard, and so on.

Question 9: What is Person 1’s race? Mark one or more boxes.

Question 10: Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? (If more people were counted in Question 1, continue with Person 2)

To view an interactive questionnaire and learn about each question, visit the Census Bureau’s new 2020 Census Web site