Because the census only happens every 10 years, there is often misinformation and outright wrong information given out about the content and the privacy of the census. This the first in history that the census that can be completed online, so there is increased concern about the information submitted. The Census Bureau has responded by developing a Trust & Safety Team to ensure the public is properly educated. You can find more information here. But here are some answers to some commonly asked questions:

What about my privacy? How will my information be used?
The Census Bureau is bound by law to keep your information confidential. 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. The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous: In addition, the Census Bureau follows industry best practices and federal requirements to protect your data.

How can I avoid possible fraud or scams?
To stay safe, just remember that he Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Social Security numbers.
  • Bank or credit card account numbers.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.

If someone visits your home to collect a response for the Census, you can easily verify their identity in one of two ways:  First, make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph and US Department of Commerce watermark. Second, if you have questions about their identity, contact the Census Bureau at 800-923-8282. 

Will I be asked about our citizenship status?

  1. There are NO citizenship questions on the 2020 Census questionnaire. An attempt was made to include citizenship questions, but a ruling in the Supreme Court effectively shut down attempts to include those questions. The Census needs to count everyone living in this country – citizens and non-citizens.


Next post: Focus on undercounting

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