Census canvasser knocks on my door. What do I do?

Reporter: Rich Kolko
Published: Updated:

You may hear a knock on your door, with someone saying they are working for the census. It can start as soon as this week.

What should I look for?

A legitimate canvasser for the Census Bureau will have a badge, a bag and a tag. If you do not see them, do not answer the door. The 2020 Census starts with address canvassing. It checks all the addresses in the United States. The real count does not start until next year.

Any changes in filling out the 2020 Census forms next year?

In 2020, for the first time, you can respond to the census online. If you do not have a computer, you will be given a phone number to call in your response. However, if you do not respond, they might come to your home.

Answering the door and any question is your choice. You can always tell the person to leave the material by the door. But, it is a requirement to respond.

What questions will I be asked?

The questions have not changed much since 2010. They want to know how many people live in the home, along with the names, gender, birthday, race and more. However, they will not be asking if you are a citizen, along with your social security number. If someone does that is a huge red flag for nefarious behavior.

The census is done once every 10 years and helps say where $800 billion in tax dollars are spent.

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