How does the census work?
Beginning in March, every household in the US will receive an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census. You can respond for your household online, by phone, or by mail. You can respond to the census online or by phone in English and 12 additional languages. Paper questionnaires in English & Spanish were mailed earlier this year to select households. You will receive reminder mailings throughout the spring & summer until your response has been officially recorded.
Information you submit is compiled with all the responding households nationwide. Those statistics are then used to help allocate billions of dollars in federal funding to local communities and decide the number of seats North Carolina has in Congress.
As of October 15, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau’s collection of census data is complete. Final response rates can be seen here, and more information will be announced throughout the year as the data is released.
Is someone going to come and knock on my door?
A census taker will ONLY follow up in person if your household has not responded to the census online, by phone, or by mail. If you wish to avoid a home visit, respond to the census this spring & summer.
Census takers will visit households from August to October 2020 to collect in-person responses and provide assistance. All Census Bureau workers carry official government badges and will identify themselves immediately when they come to your home.
Census takers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines when they visit your home. All census takers complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing and other health and safety protocols before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
If someone visits your home this year to collect information for the 2020 Census, check to make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.
How do I know the census is safe?
The census is safe and legal, but it is important to report anyone attempting to get your personal information or if you suspect fraud.
- Beware of phishing emails, attempting to get your personal information or websites infected with malware.
- The census WILL NOT ask for citizenship status, your full social security number, anything on behalf of a political party, money or your personal banking information.
- All Census Bureau workers carry official government badges with a picture, a US Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Census takers should identify themselves immediately when they come to your home.
- If you suspect fraud, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. If it is determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department.
Why should I participate?
Census data informs funding for many programs and services that are vital to supporting the individuals and families in our community. Because the census only happens every ten years, getting an accurate count of our city, county, and state are crucial in making sure that our region receives adequate support to continue providing these programs, or potentially expand financial support and availability of these services.
What questions do I have to answer?
The census will ask you to fill out basic information on all the people living in your household, including name, sex, age, date of birth, relationship, Hispanic origin, and race. You will be asked if your house, apartment, or mobile home, is owned or rented, and for contact information in case any additional information is needed.
The census WILL NOT ask for citizenship status, your full social security number, anything on behalf of a political party, money or your personal banking information.
Who do I count?
Simply put, count EVERYONE in your household for the majority of the time, or as of April 1, 2020.
This includes babies, young children, grandparents, roommates, extended family, or non-relatives.
Is my information REALLY confidential?
Your information is confidential and protected by federal law (U.S. Code Title 13, Section 9) from use by ANY law enforcement or governmental agency. For those households that respond online, information is further protected by the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, protecting submitted data from cybersecurity risks.
Information submitted is used purely for statistical purposes.