Don’t forget to respond to the U.S. Census | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Don’t forget to respond to the U.S. Census

The U.S. Census only comes around every 10 years. It’s the only time the country attempts to count every single resident, meaning it is incredibly important for everyone to be counted, especially those who are historically under-counted like immigrants, people of color, and those with disabilities. The proper count affects which communities receive funding, and what kind of funding.

Ways to respond: People can respond online at or fill out and return the paper questionnaire that was sent to your home. People can also respond to the census questionnaire via the phone. Online and phone responses are available in 13 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.

Who fills out questionnaire: Only one person per household should respond to the questionnaire. The person should include information about where they live and sleep most of the time, and that person should make sure to include information about everyone who lives and sleeps at the home most of the time. If a household doesn’t respond, a census taker should follow up between May and July.

Immigrants: There is no question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census. The Trump administration attempted to include a citizenship question, but that effort was stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court.

LGBTQ people: The 2020 census asks about people’s sex and only provides the answers of “male” and “female.” It doesn’t provide a box for non-binary or trans individuals. The National LGBTQ Task Force reminds people they can “self-identify here in the way that feels most comfortable” and the Census Bureau doesn’t cross-reference individuals’ answers on the census with any other documentation. Answers to this question don’t need to match what you have on official documents.

Homeless: In the coming months, census workers should be visiting shelters, food kitchens, and homeless encampments to ensure the homeless population is counted.

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Kaibur Coffee

By Mars Johnson