Time is here to fill out 2020 Census


Residents will soon receive a letter in the mail from the U.S. Census requesting that they fill out the 2020 Census online or by telephone.

“The letter will explain that the census is here and how to participate,” said Tim Swarens, a U.S. Census Bureau media specialist for Indiana.

The letters will start arriving in mailboxes Thursday. The vast majority of residences should receive one by March 20. Each letter will have a census ID number that is designated for that residence.

“We need everyone to fill out the census and be counted,” said Becky Beckman, head of Dubois County’s Census Count committee. “Population drives numbers. It drives decisions, be it on the numbers of how we’re represented on the federal level, the state level, the county level. Population drives money. How money is divided up and comes back to our area, that is determined by population.”

For the 2020 Census, people are encouraged to use the ID in the letter to complete the form online at my2020census.gov or by telelphone.

“If they want to go online to complete the census, they can use their code,” Swarens said. “If they don’t want to do that they don’t have to; they choose to do it by phone.”

As time goes on, other mailings will be sent to residences that have not filled out the census. If it still isn’t done by April, households will get another notification along with a paper copy of the census to fill out, Swarens said.

“What we’re trying to do is get people to self respond. And any of the three options will work,” Swarens said.”Some people don’t want to go online and do it or don’t want to do it over the phone. If they want to do it through a paper questionnaire that is entirely their choice. Whatever they feel most comfortable with.”

Filling out the census is crucial to the area, and local committees have been working to make sure everyone knows of that importance.

“This is needed to plan for our future,” Beckman said, “the future of our schools, our businesses, our residents, our community. Everything is driven by the number of people living and in districts in our communities. Population is the driving force.”

No one will come to a person’s door about the census at this time.

“Census takers will not go out into the field until May,” Swarens said, “and they will only visit households where no one has completed the questionnaire. We’re in the phase where we’re encouraging people to complete the questionnaire on their own.”

The letters will have as the return address the census’ national processing center in Jeffersonville.

“There are some misleading information out there. And we’re aware of all that, Swarens said. “We tell people to check to make sure that you know this is legitimate [and] the return address is the national processing center in Jeffersonville, Indiana.”

No legitimate census letter or census worker will ask for money. They will not ask for any kind of information to access a resident’s money, like bank accounts are credit/debit card information. No one should share that kind of information with anyone they don’t know, Swarens stressed.

“We do not ask for that,” he said. “There’s absolutely no charge to participate in the census.”

An instructional video for filling out the census can be found here.

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