Census Bureau to begin verifying homes

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Over the next few weeks and into October, workers with the U.S. Census Bureau will be verifying housing units to ensure a more accurate mailing list is compiled for the 2020 census count that begins next spring.

The process, called address canvassing, is the initial major field operation of a census count that entails workers moving from home to home, delisting some homes that are unoccupied and adding new properties to the list.

Employees will not ask questions from the census, but are “just ensuring people live at these homes,” according to an email from Josh Manning with the U.S. Census Bureau office in Dallas.

Officials with the Census Bureau will also spend August and September hiring additional staff for the counting operations scheduled to run from April to July of 2020. The jobs are commonly referred to as “door-to-door” jobs in which people go to homes to verify or ask for their census information.

“Ideally, census recruiters want people to work where they live. So anyone living on the Blackfeet Reservation would work around Browning, or in central Great Falls would work in Great Falls or someone in Dillon would cover for Madison County,” Manning said in an email.

A census count comes around once every decade. The multi-billion dollar undertaking will determine how nearly $800 billion of federal money is distributed throughout the United States. Montana, as a whole, receives almost $2 billion each year in federal funds as a result of census data.

According to officials with the Montana Department of Commerce, each resident not accounted for results in a $2,000 loss every year for the 10-year period. They say it is “crucial” that every resident be counted.

To learn more about the census, including how to apply for a temporary job with the bureau, go to 2020census.gov.

Reporter Kianna Gardner can be reached at 758-4439 or kgardner@dailyinterlake.com

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