With the 2020 Census just around the corner, you might start seeing U.S. Census Bureau employees in neighborhoods near you. They play a critical role throughout the census, ensuring that everyone in the United States is counted. This is important because census results show where there are more people. And where there are more people, there is more of a need for hospitals, schools, food assistance, and more.
So, what exactly are they doing out there? Click through this slideshow to learn about census workers’ many important roles:
Before we can count everyone living in the U.S., we need to confirm where people are living. Address canvassers hit the pavements to verify the location of houses, apartments, shelters, and other residences. Essentially, they’re comparing the Census Bureau’s address list to what they’re seeing on the ground. Explore this address canvassing map to learn where their work started on August 19, 2019.
Most people will receive an invitation through the mail by April 1, 2020 to participate in the census. But in some cases, including parts of Alaska, remote areas of Maine, and other hard-to-count areas, census takers will visit homes to conduct interviews and collect responses. Census takers will also visit places where large groups of people live together, such as military barracks, university housing, shelters, and prisons.
If you don’t fill out your census online, by phone, or by mail, a census taker will follow up with you at home to help you get. These efforts begin in May 2020.
The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once and in the right place. Census takers will be conducting quality control checks throughout the census to ensure an accurate count. In some cases, they’ll confirm that address canvassers have accurately updated address lists. In others, they’ll conduct quality control interviews to make sure that neighborhoods have been counted correctly.
The 2020 Census isn’t the only survey the Census Bureau will be conducting in 2020, so you may see someone out collecting responses for another survey —such as the American Community Survey. If you’re invited to participate in one of these other surveys, you’re still required to answer the 2020 Census.