Do people who work for the Census have to fill out a Census form too? Are they exempt? What about homeless people? What if you refuse?

The Census department has workers at different levels, head staff in the main offices and unfortunate enumerators just going door to door endangering themselves by going to the homes of lunatics and serial killers to get those individuals to answer the Census.

Do all Census workers have to fill out a Census form themselves? Would a Census worker come knocking on their door if they don't?

What about homeless people? Are they required to fill out a Census form? Will the Census department have enumerators visit them? What about people who are constantly going to place to place? I have a friend who has no home of her own, but spends a certain amount of months at a friend's or relative's in one state or city for a few months then leaves and stays with a different friend or relative at a different state or city for a few months and repeats the same pattern staying with each relative or friend for a spell so that she does not usually stay with any friend or relative more than some 4 months at a time.. How does the Census address people who don't stay in one place long enough to be considered by the Census as a "citizen"? Also when Census workers come to someone's door what if a person refuses to fill out the form or give information? What is the penalty? Can the police be called? If so doesn't it defeat the purpose of confidentiality and a person is being reported to the police? Parents can answer for underage children. What about a comatose adult at home?

6 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Of course they're not excempt. Why would they be?

    Homeless people pretty much have to be estimated.

    You can be jailed for refusing to complete a census form.

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  • Clive
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Of course they are not exempt.  How can you have a total numbering if anyone is exempt?  Homeless people are harder to count but you should be counted wherever you spent the night - you do know it is a count on a specific day, don't you?  Failing that, estimates are made.

    And clearly you don't understand what census confidentiality is about.

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  • Bort
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Cencus workers do not go door to door anymore. It's done through postal mail. In the US citizens are required by federal law to complete the census survey and send it back in. The postage is free to send it back. It was created to monitor the population so it was known how many people live here. The Census is done every 10 years in the US. A lot of people ignore it like it's junk mail. Technically that's illegal but there have been no prosecutionary actions for the census law(s) since 1970.

    • ANDRE L
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      You're an idiot. They are hiring people EXACTLY to go to people's homes. https://2020census.gov/en/jobs/job-details.html

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Each property fills in a census, regardless of what job people do...and that includes homeless shelters, hostels ......... a census is a sort of 'business plan' for the Government so they can assess spending, facitilities, education, health etc etc in the next 10 years.......how exactly the census is facilitated will depend on the laws and that depends on the country.where I live if you get a census worker knocking on your door, it means you are in serious trouble for not filling in the census as you are legally obligated to

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    1 - Of course people who are hired to take the census also fill out a census form. The census is an attempt to list residents of the US, not residents of the US who don’t work filling out census forms.

    2 - No, they aren’t exempt (?).

    3 - Yes, homeless people can (and do) refuse and they are listed as “unnamed” or “unidentified.”

    4 - Nothing happens if you refuse. In some areas a Supervisor will make a call. Every attempt is made to identify everyone. In others, “Refused” or “unnamed” or “unidentified” is put on the form.

    5 - This is no more dangerous than delivering the mail. I presume serial killers and lunatics also get mail.

    6 - Yes, homeless people are required to fill out a census form. You should be able to figure out the difficulty of locating homeless people.

    7 - Your friend registers ONCE, wherever she has a permanent address, wherever she receives mail. If she has no permanent address, she picks one of the locations and uses that. Or else she goes uncounted.

    8 - US Citizenship has NOTHING to do with your residence address.

    9 - AGAIN, a Supervisor may be sent to get the information personally. No, the Police have better things to do than deal with people who don’t want their information on a census form.

    10 - No one is reported to the Police and, if they were, what does this have to do with the census being confidential?

    11 - Yes, if comatose people reside with you you can answer the questions for them. Is this a big issue in your life? People in the hospital are listed at their home address. People who are in facilities LIVE in facilities.

    12 - I’d suggest that the comatose people move out of your house if this is an issue for you.

    Is there some sort of mental health issue involved in this?  Your questions are, at best, strange.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    I worked for the 2010 Census as a Manager of Field Operations (MFO). 

    Census workers must fill out the Census. They are not exempt.

    The Census attempts to count homeless people. There is some dispute over whether the Census can use "representative sampling"—i.e. polling a handful of homeless people and extrapolating that data to represent the larger homeless community. In 2010 the Census was not allowed to use representative sampling, but I think that's changed.

    If you refuse to answer your door to a Census worker they will come back again and again. If you continue ignoring them you'll get a letter in the mail asking you to fill out the information. If you ignore the letter you'll probably be left alone, but the Census will then use a software program called "Fast Data" to determine your information. 

    Fast Data is scary. It knows the name of everyone in your home, their social security numbers, their income, their neighbor's income, their's neighbor's blood type, the amount of their grandparent's disability payments... everything. Literally everything. 

    Working for the Census made me realize that privacy is a myth, and this was 10 years ago.

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