2020 Census

Cook County 2020 Census Logo

Respond to the Census today!

Residents can respond to the Census through the Census Bureau’s online form (LINK). Responses can also be taken by phone at 1-844-330-2020. If you have misplaced the letter from the Census Bureau you can still respond using the online or phone options with just your address information. Please visit the Census Bureau’s website for more information (LINK). During the month of June, paper Census forms and prepaid envelopes are being delivered to households that have not yet responded. These forms can be completed and returned via mail to the Census Bureau. Households that have not responded to the Census by August 11 will receive an in-person visit from a Census Taker.

What is the Census?

As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. census counts every resident in the United States every 10 years. The data collected by the census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. Please visit the Census Bureau’s website for more historical information about the Census (LINK).

Why is the Census important?

The Census is the basis for calculation and distribution of federal funds based on population and congressional representation. The accurate count of all residents ensures that all communities get their fair share of federal funds and congressional representation. Please visit the Census Bureau’s website for more information about the importance of the Census (LINK).

What is new with the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census is the first time that the Census Bureau will offer online (LINK) and phone (1-844-330-2020) response options. All households will continue to have the option to participate by using a paper form. When the census starts in March, about 80% of addresses will receive an invitation letter with instructions on how to respond online or by telephone using a unique identification number. The remaining 20% of addresses will receive both an invitation letter and a paper questionnaire with postage-paid return envelope. After three mailed requests to complete the census online or by phone, all households will receive a paper questionnaire and return instructions in the fourth mailing. Online and phone self-response options will be available until October 31, 2020.

2020 Census Timeline

March 12-20An invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census (LINK) will be sent to households. Some households will also receive paper questionnaires.
March 16-24A reminder letter will be send to households.
March 26 - April 3A reminder post card will be mailed to households that have not responded.
April 8-16A reminder letter and paper questionnaire will be mailed to households that have not responded.
April 20-27A final reminder postcard will be mailed to households that have not responded.
August 11-October 31Census Takers will conduct in person follow-ups with households that have not responded.

2020 Census responses and confidentiality 

The U.S. Census Bureau is committed to keeping all responses confidential. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect any personal information collected and keep it strictly confidential. The Census Bureau can only use responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau takes strong precautions to keep online responses secure. All data submitted online are encrypted to protect personal privacy. Please visit the Census Bureau’s website for more information on confidentiality (LINK).

How to identify a Census Taker

Please visit the Census Bureau’s website to access information on how to identify Census Takers (LINK).

Census Bureau employment opportunities

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of thousands of temporary positions across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. Please visit the Census Bureau’s website for information on how to apply to be a Census Taker (LINK).

2020 Census Activities for Children

The Census Bureau has developed a program called Statistics In Schools to provide resources for schools and students and to help ensure every child is counted in the 2020 Census. Sesame Street has developed a video explaining the importance of counting children in the 2020 Census:


Please visit the Census Bureau’s website for downloadable activities for children of all ages. The Census Bureau has also created Everybody Counts coloring books in English (LINK) and Spanish (LINK) that can be downloaded and printed on any home printer for a fun activity.