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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

US Census

Find information about the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey for students and researchers.

What changes can we expect on the 2020 Census?

As the US population and political climate continues to change and evolve, the Census must change along with it in order to record the most relevant and accurate information. Every ten years the Census Bureau has to decide what questions to add and perhaps what questions no longer need to be asked. In the 2020 Census we can expect a few changes to the ways in which questions are posed. For researchers it is important to take note of what changes to the questions are expected and how they might impact our data, especially when using data from multiple Census questionnaires. 

In this guide I will link the most up-to-date resources on what changes can be expected and what changes are still being debated. An annotated report on The 2020 Census and American Community Survey Questions can be found on NPR's website. Please note that some of the information in this report is out-dated, such as the information pertaining to questions about citizenship. 

Important notice!

Unlike previous years, the data from the 2020 census cannot be found on American Fact Finder. When the data from the 2020 Census is published it will be on data.census.gov 

For detailed information about using Census data, explore the links below for resources from the Census Bureau:

Notable Changes to the 2020 Census Questionnaire

This list contains information about known changes to the way in which questions will be asked in the 2020 decennial census. Each item is linked to an article with more information. This is not a comprehensive list; more information is added as it becomes available. 

The 2020 Census Questionnaire

In 2020, for the first time respondents will have the option to fill out their census questionnaire online. The Census Bureau will continue to allow respondents to fill out questionnaires through a paper form and over the phone.