Census Day, the one chance each decade to count the nation’s population, will be April 1, 2020.
If all goes as planned, this will be the first census held online as the U.S. Census Bureau seeks to skip paper questionnaires that were mailed to every home in the past.
Instead, households will receive mailed invitations beginning March 12, 2020, to complete the census either online, by phone or by paper at request.
Nearly 95 percent of households will receive a mailed invitation, while at least 5 percent will have their invitations dropped off by a census worker. Fewer than 1 percent of households will be counted in person by a census worker rather than being invited to complete it on their own.
If the agency receives no response from a household by Census Day, it will send reminder postcards until eventually a paper questionnaire is mailed out. The agency says it will follow up in person with all households that do not respond.
According to federal law, people may be fined $100 for not replying to a census and $500 for answering questions falsely.