FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2010
IW Group, Inc.
Door-to-Door Visits Begin for 2010 Census
Census Takers to Follow Up with About 48 Million Households
About 635,000 2010 Census takers across the nation
begin going door to door tomorrow to follow up with
households that either didn’t mail back their form or didn’t
receive one. An estimated 48 million addresses will be
visited through July 10.
“America’s had a very successful
first half of the 2010 Census, where more than 72 percent of
the nation’s households mailed back their census forms,”
U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves said. “But
achieving a complete and accurate census requires us to now
go door to door to count all the remaining households we’ve
not heard back from.”
If a 2010 Census worker knocks on your door, here are
some ways to verify that person is a legitimate census
The census taker must present an ID badge that contains a
Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date.
The census taker may also be carrying a black canvass bag
with a Census Bureau logo.
The census taker will provide you with supervisor contact
information and/or the local census office phone number for
verification, if asked.
The census taker will only ask you the questions that appear
on the 2010 Census form.
The 2010 Census taker will not ask for social
security number, bank account number or credit card number
and will never solicit for donations or contact you by
In most cases, census workers will make up to six
attempts at each housing unit address to count possible
includes leaving notifications of the attempted visit at the
house or apartment door, in addition to trying to reach the
household by phone to conduct the interview or schedule an
“If a census taker
knocks on your door, please help by providing the basic
information required for the census,” Groves said. “Your
answers are strictly confidential. There are just 10
questions on the form and it should only take about 10
minutes to complete.”
will go to great lengths to ensure that no one is missed in
the census. After exhausting their efforts to do an
in-person interview with a resident of an occupied housing
unit, they will seek out proxy sources — a neighbor, a
rental agent, a building manager or some other knowledgeable
person familiar with the housing unit — to obtain as much
basic information about the occupants as they can.
Some households will receive a visit even though they
may have mailed back their form. If the form arrived too
late to be processed before non-response follow-up packets
were sent to one of the 494 local census offices, the
household occupants must still be interviewed when the
census taker arrives. The Census Bureau is urging
cooperation and patience with the census takers, as this is
the best way to ensure that everyone is counted properly.
Households that didn’t receive a form by mail,
including those that pick up their mail from post office
boxes, will be visited by census workers as part of the
follow-up plan. The Census Bureau doesn’t mail forms to post
office boxes because responses must be associated with a
specific residence location, not the post office box
The part-time, temporary census workers are hired
from the communities they serve to obtain the remaining
census responses. Census workers are your neighbors; they
are familiar with the neighborhood and are working to ensure
that it is accurately and completely represented.
The Census Bureau has stringent systems in place to
ensure that people can feel safe when they open their door
to a census taker. All census takers undergo an FBI
background check that includes both name and fingerprint
checks. All have taken an oath for life to protect the
information they collect and understand that they face stiff
penalties, jail time or both for any disclosure of
personally identifiable information.
Note that the Census Bureau conducts several surveys
in addition to the 2010 Census. For example, the American
Community Survey is sent to approximately 3 million
households annually and also involves follow-up from census
workers. More information about the American Community
Survey can be found on the Census Bureau Web site <www.census.gov/acs>.
ABOUT THE 2010 CENSUS
The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the
United States and is mandated by the U.S.
Constitution. Census data are used to apportion
Congressional seats to states, to distribute more than $400
billion in federal funds to tribal, state and local
governments each year and to make decisions about what
community services to provide. The 2010 Census questionnaire
will be one of the shortest in U.S.
history and consists of 10 questions, taking about 10
minutes to complete. Strict confidentiality laws protect the
respondents and the information they provide.
As with all 2010 Census information, address information,
including GPS coordinates, is protected by the
confidentiality requirements of Title 13 of the United
All Census Bureau employees take an oath for life to protect
identifiable information about individuals and businesses
gathered by the agency.
By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’
answers with the IRS, FBI, CIA or any other government
agency. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine up to
$250,000, a jail term of up to 5 years, or both.