U.S. Census takers will end field data collection a month earlier than planned in an effort to ensure the safety of staff and the public amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced Wednesday.
Census takers will end field data collection by Sept. 30 instead of the end of October, as originally had been planned. Self-response options will also close on that date.
Under this plan, the Census Bureau intends to meet a similar level of household responses as collected in prior censuses, including outreach to hard-to-count communities.
Door-to-door visits began in mid-July in Boone and Callaway counties, Census officials said. Residents in Cole, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan and Osage counties began seeing census takers in neighborhoods in mid-August.
The census takers are visiting households that have not yet responded to the online, phone or mail census forms distributed earlier this year.
This is the first time residents can complete the nine-question Census forms at 2020Census.gov. The census can also be completed by phone at 844-330-2020 or by mail. People may respond online, by phone or by mail through Sept. 30.
Only people living in a residence as of April 1 are counted. Census workers can be identified by their official identification badges with their name and photo. Census workers also carry an official bag that displays the U.S. Census Bureau seal.
To confirm if a person works as a neighborhood canvasser, visit census.gov/staffsearch.
By law, the Census Bureau cannot share answers with anyone, not even another government agency. Census workers aren't allowed to ask for a Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers. They are not allowed to solicit donations, promise gifts or ask residents to pay money to complete the Census.
The Census Bureau will not contact a person by email or phone.
If you suspect someone may be taking advantage of using Census questions to commit fraud, call the Census Bureau at 1-800-923-8282.
As of this week, Missouri's self-response rate for filling out Census forms was 64.3 percent. In Cole County the rate was 70.9 percent, 67 percent in Boone, 65.8 percent in Callaway, 49.5 percent in Maries, 54 percent in Miller, 64.3 percent in Moniteau, 39.9 in Morgan and 51.4 percent in Osage.