Frequently Asked Questions:
Will Portuguese-Americans be grouped with Hispanics?
No. PALCUS has worked to resolve that issue. Hispanics have a separate question on the 2020 Census form and are not included under the Race/Origin question.
2. Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to participate in the Census?
No. Everyone living in the United States at the time of the census is counted regardless of citizenship status.
3. Do I have to be born in Portugal to write “Portuguese” on the Race/Origin question?
No. Writing "Portuguese" as your origin means ancestry - not place of birth.
4. Can I identify as Portuguese even if I don't speak it or have Portuguese citizenship?
Yes. This is about your ancestry and how you personally identify your origins.
5. I was born in Portugal but my children were born in the United States. Do I write Portuguese for each of them?
Yes, because this is their ancestry / origins through you.
6. Am I required to fill out a census form?
Yes. Your response is required by law.
7. Do I include everyone living in my household whether or not they are related to me?
Yes. Anyone residing in your house regularly, such as a boarder whether paying rent to you or not, is included in your census form.
8. If I am living in the United State on a student, diplomat, artist or performer visa, do I complete a Census form?
9. I am in the U.S. during census time on a vacation or business trip, do I fill out a Census form?
No because you are not regularly living or domiciled in the United States.
10. How do I answer the 2020 Census?
You can complete one form for everyone living in your household online at , on the phone toll free at 844-330-2020 (in English) or by mail.
11. Will the Census form be in Portuguese?
You may complete the Census form online in the Portuguese language by clicking "Português" at the bottom of the screen or you may call the toll free phone number 844-474-2020 and answer by speaking to an interviewer in Portuguese. The paper form will NOT be available in the Portuguese language.
12. When will the 2020 Census happen?
The Census begins on March 12, 2020 when invitations to complete the Census online will begin to appear in mailboxes. The following is the timeline of events:
13. I have received a letter from the Census at more than one address. Which one do I complete or do I respond to all of them?
If you have multiple addresses, perhaps a vacation home in another state, respond at the address where you live 6 months or more during the year. In any event be sure that you and members of your household are only counted ONCE.
14. I am Portuguese and my wife is French Canadian. What do I put for my children?
There is a section for each person living in the household where you answer the Race/Origin question. Check off the race(s) for each person and write Portuguese for you, French Canadian for your wife and both Portuguese and French Canadian for each of your children. In fact you can write up to 6 ancestries and they will all be counted under ANY race.
More questions?? Contact Gracielle Camilo at or 202-466-4664.
If we don't know the answer, we will find out for you!