2020 Census: How to respond online

No, there is no question about citizenship or immigration status in the 2020 Census of the United States. However, you will have to give the full names of all the people who live in your house and even your phone number. The 2020 Census process started from January.

To fill out your 2020 Census form online, the first thing you should receive is a letter from the authorities via conventional mail with a 12-digit code (numbers and letters) that is associated with your home address. Then, you should go to my2020census.gov and choose your preferred language through a menu on the top right or a list of languages ​​at the bottom of the page. The Spanish version is well understood, although there are several erroneously conjugated verbs in the text. If you speak English well, you may prefer to use that version.

On the next screen you must enter the 12-digit code that arrived in the mail. (If you don’t have a code, follow these steps – which include entering your address, name, and phone.)

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The welcome page of the Census 2020 in Spanish.

Screenshot by Gabriel Sama / CNET

Once you start, the first questions serve to confirm your address and check if you plan to continue living there as of April 1, 2020 and to find out how many people live there (there are several questions designed to make sure those people live there most of the time. and that there are no plans to go elsewhere).

Afterwards, you must write down your full name and telephone number. If this seems strange to you, the government argues that it needs your name for two reasons: they say that this way it is easier to know to whom each question corresponds (they will ask you questions about all the inhabitants of the house) and the second is because it serves the Census administrators to call and ask for missing information.

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Here goes the name of the head of the home and your home phone.

Screenshot by Gabriel Sama / CNET

After establishing who is the head of that house, the following questions are used to find out who else lives there and how old they are, which implies writing down the exact date of birth of each of the inhabitants of that house. The government says it does so to understand the size and characteristics of each demographic group in the country, based on age. It also argues that this information is used to distribute programs and services at the local, state and federal levels, so it is important to keep track of the account. Finally, census administrators say that all of this information is confidential and that the final data is not linked to information from individuals.

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This is the letter that comes in the mail with a 12-digit code to fill out the 2020 Census online.

Gabriel Sama / CNET

When you identify each inhabitant of your home, you must indicate their name and date of birth. Also, you must say if it is Hispanic or Latino and what is its origin (for example, Mexican or Guatemalan or the one that corresponds). The government says this question serves to determine programs and services at the local, state, and federal levels and makes it clear, correctly, that Latino or Hispanic does not represent a race. Here you can even put more than one ancestry, if for example you are the son of a Salvadoran and a Honduran.

The next question for each member of the household is about their race. Here you must indicate the race (white, black, Asian, etc.) and ancestry. This is a bit confusing since in the previous question you answered about the place of origin related to Latin or Hispanic descent, but in the case of race it has to do with family origin, if there is any (German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). This part is not multiple choice, so you can also put there Mexican, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, Panamanian or whatever identifies you. Certainly, these two ancestry options (in the Latino / Hispanic section and in the race section) can be confusing, but in the end it depends on the origin and provenance with which you identify.

In the digital version of the Census you can edit all your answers before sending them, once you send them you will receive a confirmation number that you can automatically save by pressing a button on that last page.

Finally, do not forget that filling out the 2020 Census is a legal obligation of all the inhabitants and residents of the United States, regardless of their immigration status.

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