US Census 2020

Address Canvassing Begins in Wayne for Upcoming Census 2020

When dealing with a diverse nation of over 330 million people living in more than 140 million housing units, the challenges of conducting a census can be quite complex. The goal of the US Census Bureau is to conduct a complete and accurate census – but, before that can happens, the agency needs to establish where to count. They need to make sure they have a list of all the correct addresses to ensure that everyone living in the United States is invited to participate in the census and is counted in the correct location.

The US Census Bureau recently  launched the first major field operation associated with the 2020 Census enumeration, that officially takes place in April of next year. Address canvassing, which began earlier last month, improves and refines the Census Bureau’s address list of households nationwide, which is necessary to deliver invitations to respond to the census.

The address list plays a vital role in ensuring a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the United States. “We were able to verify 65% of addresses using satellite imagery — a massive accomplishment for us,” said Census Bureau Geography Division Chief Deirdre Bishop.

In anticipation of the upcoming count, the Census Bureau created new software called the Block Assessment, Research and Classification Application (BARCA). It compares satellite images of the United States over time, allowing Census Bureau employees to spot new housing developments, changes in existing homes and other housing units that did not previously exist. Reviewers also use BARCA to compare the number of housing units in current imagery with the number of addresses on file for each block.

“In 2010 we had to hire 150,000 people to verify 100% of the addresses in the field, this decade we will only have to hire about 40,000 employees around the nation to verify the remaining 35% of addresses,” explained Bishop.

Census Bureau employees (listers) have started walking through neighborhoods in parts of Wayne County, checking addresses not verified using BARCA software. In-field address canvassing will continue through mid-October.

To help identify listers, employees will have badges and briefcases indicating their affiliation with the Census Bureau. They will knock on doors and ask a few simple questions to verify the address and any additional living quarters on the property for inclusion in the census.

Employees will introduce themselves as a Census Bureau employee, show their official government ID badge, and explain the purpose of the visit. People may also ask them for a picture ID from another source to confirm their identity.

The 2020 Census: In-Field Address Canvassing 2020 Census: In-Field Address Canvassing (IFAC) Viewer provides county information on areas that listers will visit.

 This operation is one of several activities the Census Bureau conducts for an accurate and complete count. The Census Bureau also partners with the U.S. Postal Service and tribal, state and local officials to update the address list.

Most households will start receiving invitations to respond online, by phone or by mail in March 2020.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years. Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.

For more information on address canvassing, visit the Census Bureau website.