Questions askeD

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The 2020 Census is easy. You will answer a simple questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is living with you on April 1, 2020. The U.S. Census Bureau has provided a sample questionnaire so you will know what to expect on the form.  

Starting March 12, the US Census Bureau will send invites to McLennan County residents with instructions for filling out the census online,  over the phone or through mail. 

The Census is Live!

Click below to fill out your 2020 census now! Don't worry, you do not need to wait until you receive a unique ID in the mail to complete it.  

Census Timeline

Counting every person living in the United States is a massive undertaking, and efforts begin years in advance. Here's a look at some of the key dates along the way:  


2020

  • January 21: The U.S. Census Bureau starts counting the population in remote Alaska. The count officially begins in the rural Alaskan village of Toksook Bay.
  • March 12 - 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.  
  • March 30 - April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
  • April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
  • April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
  • May - July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven't responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.
  • December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.

2021

  • March 31: By this date, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes. 


Here are some of the efforts completed in 2019:


  • January - September: The Census Bureau opened more than 200 area census offices across the country. These offices support and manage the census takers who work all over the country to conduct the census.
  • August - October: Census takers visited areas that have experienced a lot of change and growth to ensure that the Census Bureau's address list is up to date. This process is called address canvassing, and it helps to ensure that everyone receives an invitation to participate in the census.

Census Day 2020

 April 1 is Census Day, a key reference date for the 2020 census. When completing the census, you will include everyone living in your home on April 1, 2020. Census Day will be celebrated with events across the country. 

census action centers

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 A number of locations with WiFi and devices will be made available starting March 12 for filling out the 2020 census. Check back regularly for a list of locations across Waco and McLennan County.   


Waco and McLennan County are currently accepting applications for local organizations and businesses that would like to become a Census Action Center where McLennan County residents can fill out their 2020 census. 

who counts in the census?

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Count Everyone Under Your Roof

If you are filling out the census for your home, you should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This includes any friends or family members who are living and sleeping there most of the time. 


If someone is staying in your home on April 1, and has no usual home elsewhere, you should count them in your response to the 2020 Census. 


Please also be sure to count roommates, young children, newborns, and anyone who is renting a space in your home. These people are often missed in the census. This means they can miss out on resources for themselves and their communities over the next 10 years.


 

Counting Young Children 

 

It is important to remember to count any children who are living with you. This includes:

  • All children who live in your home, including foster children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and the children of friends (even if they are living with you temporarily).
  • Children who split their time between homes, if they are living with you on April 1, 2020.
  • Newborn babies, even those who are born on April 1, 2020, or who are still in the hospital on this date

census takers in your neighborhood

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You may notice census takers in your neighborhood this year.

This is a normal part of conducting the census. Your information is such an important part of the 2020 Census, that if you haven't responded on your own, we send census takers to help make sure you are counted.

The 2020 Census isn't the only activity the Census Bureau has this year. So you may see Census Bureau employees out collecting responses for other surveys, such as the American Community Survey.

How Can You Verify That Someone Is a Census Worker?

Census takers will visit homes in April to conduct quality check interviews, and then in mid-May to help collect responses.


If someone visits your home to collect information for the 2020 Census, check to make sure that they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.


If you still have questions about their identity, you can contact your Regional Census Center at  972-510-1800 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

Why Are Census Workers Out in Communities?

Census takers play a critical role in the 2020 Census.


In May, they will begin visiting homes that haven't responded to the census to help ensure everyone is counted. These census takers are there to help, and they are legally bound to protect your information.


But that's not the only role they play. You might see census workers in your neighborhood this spring and summer for a few different reasons:


  • They are dropping off census materials.
  • They are conducting quality checks related to the census.
  • They are collecting responses for other ongoing Census Bureau surveys, such as the American Community Survey. (Please note: If you're invited to participate in one of these other surveys, you're still required to answer the 2020 Census.)

Be Proactive

Starting in mid-March, homes across the country will begin receiving an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. The best way to avoid a visit from a census taker is to fill out the 2020 Census questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail as soon as you receive your invitation to participate.

How the Census Bureau Protects Your Data

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The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. In fact, every employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.

The Legal Duty To Protect Your Information

The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential.


Under Title 13, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures that your private data is protected and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.


The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous: The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.

Data Protection and Privacy Program

Being responsible stewards of your data is not only required by law, it is embedded in Census Bureau culture. Strict policies and statistical safeguards help protect the confidentiality of your information. Before releasing data products, the Census Bureau verifies that they meet its confidentiality standards.

Secure Technology

From the beginning of the data collection process, the Census Bureau follows industry best practices and federal requirements to protect your data.


The security of Census Bureau systems is a top priority, and our IT infrastructure is designed to defend against and contain cyberthreats. We continually refine our approach to identifying, preventing, detecting, and responding to these threats.