What's happening in our community?
Starting in 2019, you may begin to notice census takers in your neighborhood. This is a normal part of the 2020 Census preparation and data collection process. Census field representatives will also continue to collect information for the American Community Survey (ACS) and other ongoing surveys.
Why does the Census Bureau do this?
You might see census takers in your neighborhood for a few different reasons:
- They are verifying addresses in preparation for the census.
- They are collecting responses to the census or another survey.
- They are dropping off census materials.
- They are conducting quality checks on the census.
Census takers who verify addresses are called address canvassers. They help ensure an accurate and complete count by verifying address lists across a wide area of physical geography, housing structures, and residence types. Part of this effort involves census takers on the ground noting where houses, apartments, shelters, and other residences are located. Census takers will attempt to knock on every door in the neighborhood they are canvassing.
How can I verify the identity of a census worker?
If you are visited by someone from the U.S. Census Bureau, here are some tips to assure the validity of the field representative:
- Census takers must present an ID badge that includes a photograph of the field representative, a Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
- Note that census workers may be carrying a Census Bureau phone or a laptop as well as a bag with a Census Bureau logo.
- If you still have questions, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. You can also search for an agent's name in the Census Bureau's online staff directory.
Understanding the US Census
The United States Census Bureau is the federal government's largest statistical agency. They are dedicated to providing current facts and figures about America's people, places and economy.
One of their statistical programs is the Decennial Census, generally known as the U.S. Census. It's the once-a-decade population and housing count of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. It counts each resident of the country and where they live. It is also mandated by the Constitution.
Why is the Census so important for our city?
The census provides important information for municipalities.
- It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries.
- Communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of resident needs including new roads, schools and emergency services.
- Academic institutions, medical facilities and businesses of all sizes rely on census data to help make future decisions, such as where to open new places to shop.
When is the Census conducted?
Efforts for the census are currently underway. By April 2020, households will receive an invitation to participate in the census. Residents will then have three options to respond: online, by phone or by mail.
How do you respond to the 2020 Census?
View the U.S. Census Bureau link to understand how the process works.
Timeline & Important Dates
- January – March 2019: The U.S. Census Bureau opens 39 area census offices. These offices open early to support Address Canvassing.
- June – September 2019: The Census Bureau opens the remaining 209 area census offices. The offices support and manage the census takers who work all over the country to conduct the census.
- August 2019: The Census Bureau conducts in-field address canvassing. Census takers visit areas that have added or lost housing in recent years to ensure that the Census Bureau's address list is up to date.
- January 2020: Advertising begins.
- April 1, 2020: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Residents will have three options for responding: online, by mail, or by phone.
- April 2020: Census takers begin following up with households around selected colleges and universities. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews.
- May 2020: The Census Bureau begins following up with households that have not responded.
- December 2020: The Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the president.
For more information about the Census, please visit the United States Census 2020 website.