Census takers verifying addresses across Surprise

Thousands of Surprise residents attended the 2019 Fourth of July Party at Mark Coronado Park. [Jason Stone/Independent Newsmedia]

U.S. Census Bureau representatives are starting to canvass Surprise neighborhoods to verify addresses in preparation for next year’s 2020 decennial Census.

The Census is a count of America’s population and is required by the U.S. Constitution each decade. The next one is April 1.

In order to get an accurate and complete population count, Census representatives work to verify addresses before the survey is sent out to homes.

Those representatives are called address canvassers, and they verify address lists across a wide area of physical geography, housing structures and residence types.

Part of this effort involves them being on the ground – noting where houses, apartments, shelters, and other residences are located.

Through Friday, Oct. 11, Census representatives will attempt to knock on every door in the neighborhoods they are canvassing.

If you are visited by someone from the U.S. Census Bureau, here are some tips to assure the validity of the field representative:

  • Census takers must present an ID badge that includes a photograph of the field representative, a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.
  • Note that census workers may be carrying a Census Bureau phone or a laptop as well as a bag with a Census Bureau logo.
  • Call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.

Residents who are visited by an address canvasser won’t be answering the actual Census questions. Those residents will still need to respond to the Census when the official count begins next year.

By April, every household in the U.S. will receive an invitation to participate in the Census. This will be the first Census in which responding will be done online, by phone, as well as by mail.

The results are critically important because census data helps businesses, researchers, and policymakers all make decisions.

The data could show, for example, that the community needs a new fire department or hospital, more funding for school lunches, or more services for single-parent families.

Each year, the results help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities.

By law, the Census Bureau cannot share answers by name with others, including welfare agencies, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Internal Revenue Service, courts, police and the military.

Visit surpriseaz.gov/census2020.

Editor’s note: The City of Surprise contributed to this story.

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