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This year, 95% of households will receive their census invitation in the mail. Now you can be on the lookout for yours and know what to do with it.
The United States Census Bureau has reported that every household will have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. Nearly every household will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census from either a postal worker or census worker, and 95% of households will receive their census invitation in the mail.
Almost 5% of households will receive their census invitation when a census taker drops it off. In these areas, the majority of households may not receive mail at their home’s physical location (like households that use PO boxes or areas recently affected by natural disasters).
Less than 1% of households will be counted in person by a census taker, instead of being invited to respond on their own. This is done in very remote areas like parts of northern Maine, remote Alaska, and in select American Indian areas that ask to be counted in person.
|What Will Be Sent In The Mail|
|On or between||You’ll receive:|
|March 12 – 20||An invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census. (Some households will also receive paper questionnaires).|
|March 16 – 24||A reminder letter.|
|If you haven’t responded yet:|
|March 26 – April 3||A reminder postcard.|
|April 8 – 16||A reminder letter and questionnaire.|
|April 20 – 27||A final reminder postcard before we follow-up in person.|
What to Expect in the Mail
When it’s time to respond, most households will receive an invitation in the mail. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you’ll receive an invitation encouraging you to respond online, or an invitation along with a paper questionnaire.
Most areas of the county are likely to respond online, so most households will receive a letter asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire. The 2020 Census plans on working with the U.S. Postal Service to stagger the delivery of these invitations over several days. This way they can spread out the number of users responding online, and they’ll be able to serve you better if you need help over the phone.
Letter Invitation and Paper Questionnaire
Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation. The invitation will also include information about how to respond online or by phone. The 2020 Census understands you might miss their initial letter in the mail. Every household that hasn’t already responded will receive reminders and will eventually receive a paper questionnaire. It doesn’t matter which initial invitation you get or how you get it – they will follow-up in person with all households that don’t respond.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is required to respond?
Everyone living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)
Who should be counted?
Everyone living in your household as of April 1, 2020. This includes friends, family members, children, newborns, roommates, or anyone who is renting from you or living and sleeping there most of the time.
Why is the census important?
The census determines congressional representation, federal funding, and provides data that will impact communities for the next 10 years.
How do you identify a Census taker?
Census takers will be visiting homes in April and mid-May to conduct a quality check interview. Below are identifying factors to determine an employee:
- Valid ID Badge (with a photograph, U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date)
- Official Census Bureau Bag
- Equipment with the Census Bureau logo
If you still have questions about how to identify a Census taker, you may contact the Philadelphia Regional Census Center at 267-780-2600 and ask to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
All of the above information was reported by the United States Census Bureau. For more information about the 2020 Census, please visit them online.
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