By Brenda MacDonald/U.S. Census Bureau Media Representative, Lubbock, Texa—
Data collection for the 2020 Census will end on Sept. 30, and the U.S. Census Bureau is encouraging everyone to respond before the deadline.
Currently, Texas has a 79.5 percent total response rate, which includes self-response and Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) operations. A complete and accurate count is vital to the state of Texas. If households are not counted, Texas could miss out on its share of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding and it could also affect Texas’s apportionment in Congress.
Eleven thousand census takers are visiting Texas households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. In most cases, census workers will make multiple attempts at each housing unit to count residents in that household. Census takers will be wearing masks and are trained in social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance. If no one is home at the time of the visit, the census taker will leave a notice of visit, which includes information on how the household can self-respond to the census.
Even though census takers are working in the field, it is not too late to self-respond to the 2020 Census and limit the chances of a census taker visiting a person’s home. People can respond online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 for English or 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or by mailing the paper form that was delivered to the household.
In addition to census takers in the field, the Census Bureau is using additional ways to collect responses to the 2020 Census. Census takers have been trained to call some households that have not yet responded and leave a voicemail if no one answers. The Census Bureau has also sent out a seventh mailing, which includes an additional paper questionnaire to households that receive mail at a physical address.
The Census Bureau’s Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) program is also visiting locations across the state to encourage and assist people to self-respond to the 2020 Census. MQA representatives have visited grocery stores, food banks, libraries, unemployment offices, back-to-school drives and houses of worship. The goal is to reach people at locations where they naturally congregate to assist with completing questionnaires and answer questions that the public may have.
The Census Bureau has a statutory deadline to deliver apportionment data by December 31, 2020. Our mission is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. It is not too late to be counted in the 2020 Census. The online and phone portals are available in 13 languages. In addition, 59 non-English languages are supported through online video guides.
For more information and for additional assistance, please visit 2020census.gov.