Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 3:06 am | Fair 56º


Census Takers Going Door to Door in Santa Barbara County

Here's information about what to expect if a worker comes to your home

Census Day has passed, and about 635,000 census takers across the nation will go door to door through July 10 to obtain census responses in person from 48 million households that either didn’t mail back their census questionnaires or didn’t receive them.

In Santa Barbara County, 72 percent of households returned by mail their 2010 questionnaires. On May 1, the U.S. Census Bureau began sending out census takers throughout the county to obtain information from households that have not been counted. This activity is referred to as nonresponse follow-up, and it represents one of the largest operations of the Census Bureau.

Who Will Be Contacted?

Households that either didn’t mail back a census questionnaire or that didn’t receive a form by mail, including those who pick up their mail from post office boxes, will be visited by census takers. You may be contacted by a census taker even if you returned your questionnaire. If this happens, you are asked to provide your information when a census taker arrives.

How Many Attempts Will Be Made to Contact Households?

In most cases, census takers will make up to three phone calls to schedule a census interview and up to three personal visits to conduct an in-person census interview. They will also leave notifications of the attempted visit at the house or apartment door.

Who Are Census Takers?

The Census Bureau has hired part-time, temporary census takers from the community to obtain responses. Stringent systems are in place to ensure that people can feel safe when they open their door to a census taker. All census takers undergo an FBI background check, have taken an oath for life to protect the information they collect, and are subject to fines, jail time or both for disclosure of personal information.

How Can I Identify a Census Taker?

Only census takers will conduct official census activities. They will carry a black shoulder bag with the Department of Commerce logo, and have a census badge and confidentiality information leaflet.

Census takers should never ask to enter a home or for a Social Security number, signature, financial information, driver’s license, donations or immigration status. Community members are urged to contact the Santa Maria census office at 805.345.3630 if they are unsure about a census taker.

Want to Provide Your Census Information Over the Phone?

The Census Bureau has a telephone help line where you can call-in your census information through July 30: English, 866.872.6868; Spanish, 866.928.2010; TDD (hearing impaired), 866.783.2010. For more information, click here or contact Susan Curtis of Santa Barbara County’s Office of Long Range Planning at 805.568.3573 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— William Boyer is the communications director for Santa Barbara County.


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