Spring To-Do List: Don’t Get Left Out

We’ve come a long way since the first decennial census was taken in 1790 when enumerators on horseback knocked on every door.

Quills and parchment have been swapped with tablets and smartphones because the census can now be completed online for the first time.

Whether you’re playing a game, watching a movie, waiting for the bus, or attending a conference, you can answer the 2020 census anywhere with an internet connection.

April 1 is not just the day of toothpaste Oreos and fake spiders; it’s also Census Day.

“Some of the toughest work that we do starts when those enumerators go out in the field.” -Christine Hernandez

In mid-March, the U.S. Census Bureau mailed to households invitations to self-respond to the census with ID codes linked to their addresses.

“The number one focus that we have is for people to self-respond,” said Christine Hernandez, Census Bureau partnership coordinator.

Take 10 minutes to complete the census using one of three ways: by phone, mail, or online.

Nine questions comprise the number of household members, relationship, living situation, age, sex, and race. Surveys are available in 13 languages, and language support is available in 59 languages.

“We want to make sure that we are counting everybody in the U.S. and not having language as a barrier for non-response,” said Alan Sale, Census Bureau senior partnership specialist.

Sale recommends completing the census where you reside most of the year. Seniors in nursing homes and college students in dorms are counted at those locations. If your home sustained damage from the October tornado and you’re able to return, complete the census at that address. If you’re displaced and don’t plan on returning, you’ll be counted where you reside on April 1.

After four reminders are mailed, enumerators, equipped with tablets, will go door to door in mid-May, collecting responses for people who haven’t self-responded.

“Some of the toughest work that we do starts when those enumerators go out in the field,” said Hernandez.

If an enumerator comes to your door, be sure they’re wearing an official badge. Call 800-923-8282 for identification assistance.

If you have privacy and security concerns, know that enumerators are bound by Title 13 of the U.S. code to protect your personal information and withhold it from government agencies. Your data will remain confidential for 72 years.

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Dalia Faheid

Dalia Faheid is a writer who has studied and worked in media since 2014. She pursued a BA in Emerging Media and Communication at UTD. She has experience in journalism, marketing, and technical writing. If you have a story idea for her, you can email Dalia at editorialassistant@peoplenewspapers.com. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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