The decennial census counts each person in the country, where they live on April 1, every 10 years.
The census is so important that your response is required by law, and your answers are kept completely confidential. By the same law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.
The Census results will help to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. Results from the Census will also help to determine the number of seats that each state has in Congress.

If you have access to a computer, tablet, or mobile device, you can complete your 2020 Census questionnaire at

If you would like to complete the questionnaire online but don't have access to any of these devices, check out for a list of times when a Census Bureau representative will be on campus to help community members if they have any questions. MVCC is also setting aside a laptop in the Utica Campus Library from March 12 until April 1 for anyone who can't make the open sessions or wants more privacy. 

You can also complete it by phone or fill out the paper questionnaire. 

For a step-by-step guide to completing the questionnaire, you can watch this video: Video Guide to Completing the 2020 Census Online.

Students living away from home should be counted where they live for a majority of the year. For most students, this means that if they live on campus during the school year, they will be counted at school and should respond individually. 

Students living off-campus should also respond individually. If students have roommates off-campus, one person can take the lead and complete the questionnaire for all parties, or each can respond individually.  

Yes, the Census is a "snapshot" of who is living in the country as of April 1, 2020. 

The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted by law to release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household to any government or law enforcement agency or landlord. 

If you respond online, all web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy. If you respond using a paper questionnaire, your completed questionnaire will be destroyed after processing.

For more information about how your information is protected, visit and click on “Data Protection and Privacy Policy” at the bottom of the homepage.

For each household, the Census Bureau will ask how many people are living or staying at this address. For each person, they will ask about his or her name, sex, age, date of birth, relationship, Hispanic origin, and race. They also will ask whether the housing unit, such as house, apartment, mobile home, is owned or rented, and for contact information in case additional information is needed.

The Census Bureau will never ask you for:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Money or donations
  • Anything on behalf of a political party
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers
  • Your citizenship status

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau asks you for one of these things, you may be the target or victim of a scam.

It will take about 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
All Census Bureau workers carry official government badges. You can also call your local regional office for verification. Find their information on

Yes. You can respond online in English or in 12 additional languages: Spanish, simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese. The online questionnaire is accessible, following the latest web accessibility guidelines. The Census Bureau also will have a video in American Sign Language available to guide you through responding online.  

Help also will be available by phone in those same languages. You can respond by phone in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.

The paper form can be completed in English or Spanish.

Sample Invitation You Will Receive

Sample Census Questionnaire

2020 Census Bureau FAQ

2020 Census Bureau Fact Sheet - Why We Ask