According to the original plan, Census 2020 was supposed to be complete by July 31, 2020. However, like it has so many other things, COVID-19 has delayed that completion…for several months, in fact. Now, authorities hope to have all census data finally collected by Oct. 31, 2020.
As of July 15, 56 million households have yet to provide the required information. It will be a challenge to get all the needed responses over the next three-and-a-half months, but those in charge appear optimistic that it will happen.
If you have already provided your responses, then your work is done. But if you haven’t yet responded to the 2020 census yet, you actually have several options that make it easy to do so now:
-With a census taker (starting in August)
Mail Your Answers In
If you still have the questionnaire that was mailed to you a few months ago, you still have time to mail it back. There had been a date of April 1 on it. But that was mostly for reference, rather than a hard and fast deadline.
Provide Information Online
Another option is to provide answers online at my2020census.gov. Even if you don’t have the mailing with your unique household code on it, you can still choose this option to participate.
Call-In to Respond
The Census Bureau website also includes a list of phone numbers that people can call to provide their responses. The number you choose to call is based on your primary spoken language.
Give Answers to Census Takers
500,000 census takers were supposed to hit the ground back in May. COVID-19 put a halt to that until officials could come up with sufficient precautions for these temporary workers (many of whom are older and therefore at higher risk of infection). Now, it’s back on.
The Census Bureau will do one more round of advertising and promotion on social media to get residents to participate in one of the above ways. Then, in-person census taking will proceed in earnest until every household is accounted for.
To protect both workers and the people they will interview, masks and social distancing are mandatory. 2020 census takers will also have laptops, cell phones, gloves, and sanitizer. And they are not allowed to go inside anyone’s home to complete the questionnaire.
Apart from concerns about illness, some people may be reluctant to respond to in-person requests due to the worry about scams or other crimes. To help mitigate that worry, you can verify that someone is an official census taker by:
- Looking on the Census Bureau website to confirm that census takers are to be in your area that day.
- Checking out their ID badge, which should include their name, photo, and official watermark.
- Seeing if their gear has the Census Bureau logo on it.
- Performing a people search to make sure that the person is really who they say they are by matching the information you’ve been given with that available via public records.
What the Results Should Do
There is $1.5 trillion in federal spending to be allocated, as well as congressional seats to properly represent specific populations of people. The only way to know how best to manage both is to have accurate population counts via the census.
There’s a lot that rides on 2020 census data. It takes literally two minutes to complete, and your information is completely confidential. If you haven’t done it yet, what are you waiting for?
Image attribution: Photo by Tada Images – www.shutterstock.com