Respond to census by Aug. 11 and no one will come to your door
Households that do not respond to the 2020 U.S. Census will soon have census takers visiting in person to ask census questions. Enumerators will begin Aug. 11 to visit homes.
While Minnesota has 72.4 percent responding as of Aug. 6 – that means more than one in four households has yet to respond, according to Maureen Schriner, media specialist for Minnesota and Iowa for the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Groups that tend not to respond – and who have been historically undercounted – include renters, people with low incomes, and ethnic and racial minorities and American Indians,” she notes.
Hubbard County’s response rate is “still lagging,” at 47 percent, said complete census count coordinator Florence Hedeen.
The committee is encouraging township board officers to spread the word to their constituents about the importance of completing the Census.
Hedeen said, “Challenge your neighbors, friends, family, everyone, now to increase Hubbard County's self-response rate and beat our 2010 Census self-response rate of 57 percent. Encourage people to respond on their own now. Minimize the need for census takers to visit households beginning in mid-August. Do what you can to help Hubbard County reach a complete and accurate count.”
Households can still respond by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received in April, by responding online at 2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can continue to respond on their own until the home visits conclude on Sept. 30.
Responses to the census help shape the future of our community and inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed for important programs and services to rural Minnesota. Among them are healthcare, emergency and disaster response, education, roads and bridges and other infrastructure.
If county residents have other questions or concerns, they may call 732-9226 “and we'll do our best to help you,” Hedeen said.
What households can expect
The U.S. Census Bureau will provide face masks to census takers and requires the mask to be worn while conducting their work. They will follow CDC and local public health guidelines when they visit. Census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
If no one is home when the census taker visits, they will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail. People are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.
A small number of households that have already responded will receive a census taker visit as part of 2020 census quality checks.
Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact the Chicago regional census center at 312- 579- 1500 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.