Starting this week, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up with households in Kansas that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census.
According to the Census Bureau, the current self-response rate in the state is 65.8%. The agency need to visit the remaining addresses to collect responses in person.
Non response follow up operations begin in the Wichita Area Census Office this week. This office serves 91 counties in Kansas (see below), which includes southern, western and north-central Kansas. The remaining counties in the state are served by the office in Overland Park, where non response follow up operations will begin in August.
Census takers will be wearing masks and are trained in social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance. The Census takers are hired from their 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 record the household’s responses on a Census Bureau-issued device. If no one is home, they will leave notice of their visit and instructions on how to self-respond. Census takers can be identified by a valid government ID badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact the Denver/Dallas Regional Census center at (800) 852-6159.
Even though census takers will begin field work, its not too late to self-respond to the 2020 Census and limit the chances of a census taker visiting your home. You can respond online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or by mailing back the paper form that was delivered to the household.
HELPING HOUSEHOLDS TO SELF-RESPOND
In order to assist people with self-responding, the Census Bureau is beginning a Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) program. This is separate from our non response follow up operation. MQA representatives will encourage people to self-respond to the 2020 Census in places where people naturally visit. Locations will include grocery stores and markets, food banks, laundromats, restaurants and grab-and-go eateries, unemployment offices, back to school drives, places of worship and libraries.
The local census response representatives will help people complete the census on a 2020 Census tablet or on their own device, while practicing state and local social distancing protocols. The Census Bureau is selecting where to provide MQAs based on local response rates and public health conditions. The MQA program will run through mid-September.
ADDITIONAL REMINDER COMING IN THE MAIL
An additional reminder postcard will be sent to households that haven’t yet responded to the Census. It is scheduled to arrive between July 22 and July 28. The start of census taker visits was delayed from mid-May to mid-August, giving the Census Bureau the opportunity to send one more reminder to households to encourage them to respond online, by phone or by mail. Responding now minimizes the need for census takers to visit homes to collect responses in person.
TRAINING STARTING FOR CENSUS JOBS
The Census Bureau is in the process of hiring thousands of census takers in Kansas. Applicants are continuing to be selected and trained on an ongoing basis. The Census Bureau will be calling applicants who are selected, which may be from a non-local area code. Everyone who has applied is encouraged to answer the phone and to attend scheduled training.
For more information, go to www.2020census.gov.