If someone is knocking at your door or calling your cellphone, it could be a Census taker.
Census takers are visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census and even following up with a phone call to ensure everyone in Las Cruces is counted, this is known as the Nonresponse Follow up operation. If you respond online or by phone now, a census taker is less likely to visit your home.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Census takers have completed training on social distancing and safety protocols, will be required to wear a face mask when conducting follow-up visits, maintain social distance of 6 feet or more, practice hand hygiene, and conduct interviews outside as much as possible.
Currently Las Cruces has a self-response rate of 61.7 percent, while the national self-response rate is 63.4%. The community has until September 30 to self-respond online at My2020Census.gov, by phone in English 1-844-330-2020, in Spanish 1-844-468-2020 or mailing back the paper questionnaire they received.
“Undercounts deprive communities of their fair share of funding for public transit, meals for our seniors, healthcare, childcare, education, emergency preparedness and even job creation”, said Jamey Rickman, Community Engagement Manager.
Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and inform how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.
According to the campaign “I Count New Mexico,” each New Mexican not counted equates to a loss of approximately $3,745 per year for the next decade.
Follow Ups by Phone
In order to minimize the need to send census takers to households in person, the Census Bureau is training census takers to follow up with households by phone. Using information provided to the Census Bureau and third-party purchased data, the Census Bureau has a strong contact list for both landlines and cellphones assigned to houses on the Census Bureau’s address list.
Phone calls will be used on an as-needed basis and when in-person contact attempts have not resulted in an interview. If a voicemail is available, the census taker will leave a message asking the household to call one of the Census Bureau’s call centers.
How to Identify Census Takers
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 Denver/Dallas Regional Census Center at (972) 510-1800 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
“When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous and confidential.
The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court,” Rickman added.
What Households Can Expect
In most cases, census workers will make up to six attempts at each housing unit address to count possible residents. This includes leaving notification of the attempted visit on the door. The notification will include reminder information on how to respond online, by paper or by phone. In addition, census workers may try to reach the household by phone to conduct the interview.
The Nonresponse Follow up operation is the final stage of conducting the once-a-decade population count of everyone living in the United States. If you need more information, please visit 2020census.gov.
City of Las Cruces news releases are available on the home page of the City website at las-cruces.org under News & Announcements and can be translated into Spanish and multiple other languages using the Select Language feature on the lower right side of the page.