What to know about Census takers in your neighborhood

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – 2020 Census takers were scheduled to start knocking on doors in Wake County Tuesday. These Census takers will only knock on your door if you have not filled out a survey already.

Results from the 2020 Census will play a role in a number of way, from future federal funding and political representation.

“We see now with our CARES Act money, it’s been so beneficial,” said Commissioner Vickie Adamson. She is the chair of Wake County Complete Count committee.

She said the Census will also determine whether Wake County beats out Mecklenburg County in a Census response wager.

“We’re about five points ahead of Mecklenburg and if we can keep our lead, then the signed Caines jersey stays in Wake County,” the commissioner said.

Avoiding 2020 Census scammers

Adamson said Census impersonators were out in neighborhoods as early as last year.

“We immediately had folks knocking on doors saying they were with the Census asking for financial information,” Adamson said.

That’s one red flag to look out for. Legitimate Census takers won’t:

  • Seek financial information
  • Request social security numbers
  • Ask to enter your home or ask you to step outside.

“They just ask for basic data about who you are, your age, what’s your relationship to other members of your household,” said Adamson.

Census takers will wear a photo I.D. badge, along with a branded shirt and bag.

They were scheduled to complete their door knocks by September.

Adamson said scammers may try to take advantage of people with limited English. It’s why Census takers who speak other languages were matched up to neighborhoods where there languages are spoken.

“If somebody comes up and you’re not understanding them, you can absolutely demand that they come back with somebody that you can understand,” Adamson said.

Mapping Census responses

The Hard to Count Map 202 was created by the The City University of New York. It measures self-response for the 2010 and 2020 Census.

According to the map, south and southwest states had the lowest responses to the 2020 Census so far.

It showed so far, the response rate for the 2020 Census was 59.3 percent. The final self-response rate in 2010 was 64.8 percent.

This count, Wake County, Orange County and Union County had the largest response rates so far.

Avery County had the smallest response rate.

Nationally, Minnesota had the highest rate so far with 72.4 percent of the state responding. Alaska was listed as having the smallest response rate with only just under 50 percent of residents filling out a Census survey. New Mexico came in second to last with only 53.4 people responding to the 2020 Census so far.

Why it all matters

NC Counts Coalition said Census data is used to divvy up $675 billion in federal programs. They said with North Carolina accounting for $16 billion of that funding, every missed person accounts for a loss of about $1,600 in funding per person.

That means less money allocated for transportation, housing, education and other public services. Those might prove crucial as the state’s population continues to grow.

The George Washington University broke down where federal dollars would be allocated in their Counting for Dollars 2020 breakdown. Click here to read that.

NC Counts Coalition said on their website, North Carolina would likely gain a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, increasing representation in Washington D.C., if there is an accurate count.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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