Door-to-Door Visits Begin Nationwide for 2020 Census

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau began following up with households nationwide that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. Based on the current self-response rate of 63.3%, the Census Bureau estimates it will need to visit about 56 million addresses to collect responses in person. Up to 500,000 census takers across the country will go door to door to assist people in responding to the 2020 Census.

Census takers began following up with households on July 16 in a limited number of areas and added additional areas each week thereafter. Starting Aug. 9, all remaining offices began following up with households nationwide. Census takers have completed training on social distancing and safety protocols, will follow local public health guidelines, and will be required to wear a face mask when conducting follow-up visits.

“America has answered the call and most households responded to the census online, by phone or by mail,” said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham. “To ensure a complete and accurate count, we must now go door to door to count all of the households we have not heard back from. During this phase, you can still self-respond online (at, by phone (at 844-330-2020), or by mailing your completed questionnaire.”

The Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) operation is the final stage of conducting the once-a-decade population count of everyone living in the United States. Households can still respond now by responding online at, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received. Households can respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response.

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.

Census takers will go to great lengths to ensure that no one is missed in the census. After exhausting their efforts to do an in-person interview with a resident of an occupied housing unit, they will seek out proxy sources — a neighbor, a rental agent, a building manager or some other knowledgeable person familiar with the housing unit — to obtain as much basic information about the occupants as they can.

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.

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 their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

The Census Bureau Will Follow Up With Some Households 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. These phone calls will enable the Census Bureau to have maximum flexibility for conducting field operations, and is one more method that census takers can use to reach nonresponding households. 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.

Census Response Representatives to Visit Low-Responding Areas

The Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) program will continue through Sept. 30. This is a separate activity from census takers going door to door. MQA representatives are in open, public places in the lowest-responding areas of the nation to encourage people to respond to the 2020 Census. These locations are where people naturally visit when leaving home and can be used to help increase self-response rates. MQA is part of the Census Bureau’s final push to encourage people to complete the 2020 Census.

5 thoughts on “Door-to-Door Visits Begin Nationwide for 2020 Census

  1. I’m not a teenager & I would have been scared if I was done that way by a census worker. They have no business doing that! Not in this day & time. It’s too dangerous! I hope something is done about this.

  2. While I understand and agree that everyone needs to be counted in the 2020 census, I do believe that we have a problem with census workers not being trained properly. I’ll not mention any names or locations here, but there was definitely a problem with a census worker. When he knocked on the resident’s door, the college age daughter answered. He identified himself as a census worker. The daughter told him that her mom was not home at the moment, and at that point, he brushed past her saying that it was ok, that since she was over 15, she could answer all the questions. He basically came into the home without an invitation. The daughter sent a text to her mom, who was just a block or so away at the time, and she came home immediately.

    The point here is that a census worker should NOT enter a home if a person says “Mom is not here” no matter the age of the person saying that. A census worker should wait for an invitation to enter the home and NEVER brush past someone to get in. In these times, we worry enough about things happening to our children and loved ones without some clueless census worker brushing past someone to enter the home.

    That is the way I believe, and there obviously needs to be more training here in Natchitoches. The workers do NOT have the authority to enter unless invited in. So I would say to the person in charge here, have a meeting, train your workers a little better. Not only does it worry me about the person entering where there are children by just brushing past, they could also get shot by doing so in the wrong home.

    • I failed to mention said daughter is going to begin her freshman year at NSU, so she is a young soon to be university student.

    • How terribly rude and dangerous. Yes, census workers need to be trained about what is not appropriate behavior. It would scare the Be-Jesus out of me if someone I didn’t know entered my home when my kid was there alone. Then I would be enraged. You can bet I’d call the local office and give them a loud piece of my mind.

  3. Please fill out the census. Our state needs your full participation. Thank you. Wear a mask. Stay well.

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