For some reason, there are many Idahoans who think that the Census Bureau is only conducting phone interviews, which is incorrect. The Census Bureau has Census Takers going door-to-door for the 2020 Census. The confusion might be that the Census Bureau is conducting other surveys by phone in Idaho,

At the beginning of July, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it would begin following up with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census in a small number of locations. Because of the scale of this operation, the Census Bureau began the work in a few areas before operations begin in earnest across the country on Aug. 11. The Non-response Followup Operation started in Idaho on July 16. Census takers are currently going door-to-door interviewing Idahoan households that have yet to respond to the 2020 Census.

What households

can expect

Census takers will follow local public health guidelines when they visit. Census takers will be wearing masks. Census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before beginning their work in neighborhoods.

Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.

If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail. People are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.

How to identify

Census takers

Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

How are these offices selected for the early start to deploying census takers?

Career Census Bureau operational leadership makes the decision on when and where area census offices will begin following up with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. As part of the selection criteria, we ensured these offices offered a variety of situations to help roll out the systems. We also followed a thorough review of the operating status of a state, locality or tribal area; the key data that support that operating status as identified by federal, state and local guidance; and the ability of Census Bureau staff to safely resume operations, including the procurement of personal protective equipment.

About the 2020 Census

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local, and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years. 

Ways to respond

Online at

By phone, for English call 844-330-2020, for Spanish call 844-468-2020.

Or by mail if you have received a paper questionnaire.

For more information, visit

2020 Census total

self-response as of

July 23, 2020

National rate 62.4%, a total of 92.3 million households have responded so far.

Idaho rate 66.2% (14th), a total of 520,000 Idaho households have responded so far.

Kootenai Tribe of Idaho is at 84.8% self-response rate.

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