The 2020 Census: Facts & Myths

The 2020 Census is coming very fast. Soon, households across the nation will be getting their invitation to take the census questionnaire by the choosing of mail, online or telephone. While the census asks individuals specific questions regarding their households, you might have questions for the Census Bureau regarding the privacy of your information or legitimacy of process. The following are the ins and outs of the census to set the record straight.

The Facts

 Can I only take the census online?

No. The census will be available to individuals online, mail and telephone. The online and phone responses can be completed in 13 different languages. (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog & Vietnamese).

 

Will the census be available on all computers?

Yes. The census online form will work from any computer or laptop that currently works on the internet.

 

Who is required to respond?

Everyone living within the 50 states, District of Columbia and five U.S. territories (American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.

 

Are non-citizens counted in the census?

Yes. EVERYONE counts. The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the country, including non-citizens of the U.S.

 

Will my private information be secured?

 Yes. Your personal information is kept confidential. The Census Bureau is bound by federal law to protect your information and the data collected is used for statistical purposes only. Responses are compiled from households to produce statistics which never identify a sole individual’s home or person(s) in that home.

 

What if I am unsure what to do?

It is okay to not understand how to fill out the census form. From March 12-20th, the Census Bureau will send out post cards with instructions on what to do. The next step would be to follow along and get your household’s census form completed.

 

What happens if I do not submit a census form?

 If you fail to submit a census form it is possible to receive a visit from a census worker. From May to June, this individual (census canvasser) will come to your door and simply ask the same questions the form would have asked. It is completely acceptable to ask for an ID badge.

The badge will have their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. Any person who is a worker that you may have questions about; you can contact your Regional Center (2020census.gov/en/contact-us/rcc.html). This allows you to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

 

The Myths

 Does the 2020 census really ask for my social security number or bank information?

 No. The Census Bureau follows federal law to protect your information. If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you by email or phone and asks for a social, bank information or claims to be from a political party, they are not legitimate. This is a scam.

 

My answers can be shared with law enforcement or used against me?!

 No. The federal laws prevents the Census Bureau from sharing your information with law enforcement. Nor, can your answers be used to impact the legitimacy for government or state benefits. The answers collected are only used for country-wide statistics on the U.S. population.

 

My family doesn’t need to respond, what is a few less numbers?

 The census is extremely important and every household counts. For example, if a family of five does not respond, that is $100,000 lost in funding for the county.

 

I have to answer every question on the 2020 Census by law?

Incomplete census questionnaires are legal. If an Executive Order is put in motion modifying the questions or adding questions regarding Citizenship, it is legal to leave the question unanswered and submit the census form for counting.

 

Are there fake workers posing for the Department of Home Affairs?

 A false rumor circulated that individuals were posing as workers for the Department of Home Affairs and were going door-to-door asking for identification of the homeowners. Census workers are not allowed to ask for delicate information.

Suspicious behavior should be reported or anything that may cause confusion is to be reported to the Census Bureau. All reports can be sent to rumors@census.gov.

 

 

 

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