NDACo News

NDACo News

We Are Counting Less, but Should Be Counting MORE, During COVID-19

Posted 7/06/20 (Mon)

Linda Svihovec | NDACo Research Analyst

By now, every North Dakota residence should have received an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census. The invitations to respond are addressed to “Resident” and do not include your name. What is included is an overview of the census and a unique 12-digit code linked to your address (your census ID). The census ID number is uniquely linked to a housing structure, and although the use of a census ID is not required, it is preferred in order to assure that they receive responses from every household and to avoid the Census Bureau visiting your house in person.

If you do not have an ID number, you are still able to respond by selecting the option for “Non-ID Response.” You will be asked for your residential address (not post-office box). For those who do not know or do not have a street address, you will be asked several location and description questions instead. Non-ID responses will often be verified by a census worker either driving by or visiting your home to confirm the authenticity of the information provided. As a last resort, the Census Bureau will ask your neighbors about your household. Remember, it is constitutionally required to count every person in the Unites States, every ten years.

North Dakota (61.5%) is slightly behind the national average (61.7%) for Census responses as of June 26, 2020. However, only 17 of 53 counties response rates are above the national average. That means 68% or North Dakota counties have response rates below the national average, ranging from 60.7% in Wells County to as low as 27% in Sioux County. Many of those 36 counties are far below their response rate for 2010 when paper forms were the only option for submitting your census information.

The 2020 Census offers a variety of ways to respond to the Census.

  1. paper form
  2. online at www.my2020census.gov
  3. toll free phone number 1-844-330-2020.

If it is important to you to reduce the cost for the government to conduct the census and you want to avoid a census worker coming to your door, you are encouraged to respond to the census today. There is still time to self-respond to the Census. Non-response follow up with door-to-door enumerators begins August 11.

For more information about responding to the Census: https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond.html

*Please consider sharing this story with your local newspaper, posting it on community bulletin boards, sharing it on Facebook, etc.