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FAQs

How long will it take? The Census form should take about 10 minutes to complete, depending on the number of people in the household. 

Can people respond if they misplaced or never received their unique ID? Yes, people can respond online or by phone using an option called Non-ID Response, which allows them to complete their Census forms without the unique ID, as long as they provide a valid home address. 

Do I have to participate online? No. Households have the option to respond online, by phone, or by mail. 

In what languages will the online form be available? The online form will be available in 13 languages (Arabic, Chinese [Simplified], English, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese). 

In what languages will the paper form be available? Paper forms will be available in English and bilingual English-Spanish. 

What if I need some other language? The Census Bureau will provide language guides in 59 non-English languages. 

Can Census responses by shared with law enforcement or other government agencies? No, Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information provided in Census responses. Federal law prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing personally identifiable information with other government agencies. 

What should people do if they have a question or a problem? People can call Census Questionnaire Assistance toll-free at 800-923-8282 for answers to questions or to provide their household responses by phone.  

Why is taking the Census important? 

Taking the Census is important because the data obtained is used to: 

  • Determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College. In other words, the results determine how many seats in Congress Maryland gets. 
  • Redistrict boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts; 
  • Make decisions about how and where to spend billions of dollars in federal money, each year, for programs and services that communities rely on including but not limited to:
    – LIBRARIES
    – Schools
    – Infrastructure such as roads
    – Neighborhood revitalization
    – Public safety/emergency preparedness
    – Economic development 
  • It’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790. 
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Contactless pickup of holds now available at all HCLS branches. Details at http://hclibrary.org/contactless-pickup. All branches closed July 3 and 4 for furlough day and Independence Day. Please disregard any notices about overdue items and fines.