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Is the Census Safe? And other information about the 2020 Census

Por Jenn Park
April 2020
The 2020 Census will take place from March 12 th through July 30 th . This survey is designed to assist with the distribution of federal funding based on the number of people counted within geographic locations.

There are a variety of ways to complete the Census: online, by mail, in person, or by phone. No matter the manner in which the Census is completed, your information will be safe. Everyone should be counted during the Census including newborn babies, children, elderly, and undocumented citizens.

According to, “Personal information cannot be used against respondents by any government agency or court”. The Census will not ask for someone’s social security number, whether they are a citizen, or for any money. Information asked by the Census will be: how many people live in the home, the names of people in the home, the dates of birth, race, origin, and relationship to the person who is primarily completing the survey.

The Census may be completed online at beginning March 12, 2020. Public libraries are equipped with the technology for the completion of the survey. Those wishing to complete the Census by mail will receive a form in the mail in April. Simply fill out the survey and return it to the address on the form. If another language is needed to complete the survey, one may be requested by calling the Census Bureau Customer Service Center at 1-800-923-8282. Thirteen languages are represented on the Service Center call line and will be able to answer any questions regarding the Census.

If the Census has not been completed online or by mail by May 13, 2020, Census enumerators will visit households to assist residents in completing the Census. According to the website, the following are ways in which you will be able to determine if a Census enumerator is at your door:
 The census taker or field representative will present an ID badge that includes:
o their name,
o their photograph,
o a Department of Commerce watermark, and
o an expiration date.
 They will have an official bag and Census Bureau-issued electronic device, such as a
laptop or smartphone, bearing the Census Bureau logo.
 Census takers and field representatives will conduct their work between the hours of 9am
and 9pm, local time.
The Census may be completed online at your public library. Your librarian will assist you in accessing a computer and the support needed for you to complete the Census. Any questions regarding the Census may be directed to the public library or

*Jen Park is the Community Engagement and Talent Development Specialist at Ramapo Catskill Library System. In addition to her traditional responsibilities, Jen is working with a variety of Census Complete Count Committees to ensure everyone in her region is counted. Jen may be contacted at [email protected].

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