Workers canvassing addresses for the 2020 U.S. Census have begun visiting properties in Polk County.
As part of a nationwide effort by the U.S. Census, address canvassing has begun in Polk County and across the country making it the first major field operation of the 2020 Census. In-field address canvassing will continue through mid-October.
To help identify address listers, employees will have badges and briefcases indicating their affiliation with the Census Bureau. They will knock on doors, introduce themselves as Census Bureau employees, show their official government ID badges and explain the purpose of the visit. They then will ask a few simple questions to verify the address and any additional living quarters on the property for inclusion in the census. Read more about address canvassing on the Census Bureau website.
The 2020 Census: In-Field Address Canvassing (IFAC) Viewer provides county information on areas that listers will visit.
Address canvassing 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.
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.
“We were able to verify 65% of addresses using satellite imagery – a massive accomplishment for us,” Census Bureau Geography Division Chief Deirdre Bishop said. “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.”
Census Bureau employees have started walking through neighborhoods in Polk County and across the country checking addresses not verified using BARCA software.
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.
“Ultimately, the success of the census depends on everyone’s participation,” said Marilyn Sanders, Chicago regional director. “And it’s important to remember, when you respond to the census you shape your future and the future of your community.”
The 2020 Census officially starts counting people in January 2020 in remote Toksook Bay, Alaska. Following the count of people in remote Alaska, most households in the country 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 and about the 2020 U.S. Census, visit the Census Bureau website.