Why am I Being Contacted by The Census Bureau – I Returned my Form!

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Written by: Director Robert Groves

Some questions are coming in from folks who completed and mailed back their census forms, but are being visited by census workers in person, or receiving a phone call from the US Census Bureau. It might be a good time to go over the different reasons this might be happening. (All of the reasons are variants of attempts to make sure we’ve counted people once and only once and in the right place, their April 1, 2010, usual residence.) We use two ways of contacting people — face to face visits and telephone calls.

Here are some reasons why you might get a knock on the door:

1. We received your mailed-in form too late to scratch your unit off the list of addresses to visit. (Since some forms get lost in transit, we train our enumerators to ask the census questions at every door they’re assigned; please be patient with this request).

2. There was missing or conflicting information on the form we received. (We want to make sure the information we collect from your household is complete and correct.)

3. We can’t match the address you provided on a “Be Counted” form or over the phone to our master address list. (We send the enumerator to you to make sure all information in properly attached to the right housing unit).

If we are uncertain about any of the answers your household provided on the census, we may call to get a better understanding of the situation and ensure we get an accurate count.

Here are a few reasons why you may receive a telephone call from the US Census Bureau:

1. If the number given for how many people were living at the address on April 1 does not match the number of people for whom information was provided.

2. If the form indicates that additional people were staying at the address on April 1 but were not included in the household’s count.

3. If we suspect we have received duplicate information about a housing unit or individual, we will follow-up to make sure people are not counted twice.

You can confirm that the individual calling is really from the Census Bureau by running through this checklist.

I’d like to thank all of the households who have responded to the census takers who have already visited them in person or received a call from the Census Bureau. If you haven’t yet received a call or visit – but do so in the next few weeks – please be kind to our census enumerators and answer their questions. This assures your household is part of the 2010 Census.

Please submit any questions pertaining to this post to ask.census.gov

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43 Responses to Why am I Being Contacted by The Census Bureau – I Returned my Form!

  1. AM says:

    I still want to know how many times the enumerators are going to keep coming back to each house when the handbook says “up to three times” but seemingly they are being told to keep going back no matter how many times it takes. If you are not doing anything wrong, why not be open about this?

  2. Clif says:

    I run a long term care facility and I have recieved a call from the Census people for every room in my facility. I filled out your forms,mailed them in, now leave me alone.

  3. Raeanna Gardiner says:

    I am disgusted with you guys this year. We sent our form in on time but still had 3 census takers come to our door, and then got a phone call at 8:30pm from someone doing the census form who said our mail-in form was received but he wanted the information again. After explaining that we’ve gone through this multiple times and that we were not going to give our childrens full names detailed information over the phone or to anyone else, he threatened us with a $5,000 fine or imprisonment. I was under the impression that all that is legally required of us is a head count. Am I wrong?

  4. Raeanna, You are required to complete the 2010 Census.

  5. done my duty says:

    end of March-1st of April, when I did not get a census form in the mail, where I have lived over 25 years, I called the census 800 number and was told not to worry as a second form would be sent April 9, by April 14-15 I still had not received a census form and called the census 800 number again, this second time I was told it could be done over the phone. To be sure it was done I agreed to do it by phone. the census worker on the phone was careful and thorough to read each question and group of answers, then reread all information, questions and answers I gave to confirm accuracy. now I have had a census worker come to my door twice. I explained the situation and said I had already done it by phone and was not going to do it again. I have made calls from the local census office in PSL to the regional office in Atlanta, GA, and gotten no answer as to what happened to the info I gave by phone (which recorded notice was given that such call would be recorded for quality control). I have been told there is policy in place to be sure I would not be counted twice. Fine, if it can be determined I have responded already, then why am I continuing to be bothered. I have fulfilled my civic duty to anwer the census. I will not set up circumstance to be counted more than once as required by responding more than once which I do not believe is required. I have been told census info is so privately secure that it cannot be accessed to verify my response, that such data once input is inaccessible. This alleged fact does not support any claimed policy or procedure to be sure no deouble or multiple (mis)counting is occurring. I have been told that my phone census response may not have been turned in by some unspecified deadline and discarded. Information in a local newspaper indicated that census forms received after a certain date were thrown out. Census workers I have spoken to will neither confirm or deny this. If in fact the government lost or threw out my census response, that is not my fault or obligation to remedy and do not expect to continue to be harassed by census workers coming on my property

  6. w2y says:

    is this a fake blog, my comment disappeared

  7. w2y, Please read our comment policy.

  8. Garnet Valley says:

    I filled out my census form and am still getting visits at the door. please stop. I won’t answer the door and i don’t want to be bothered at night after a long day at work.

  9. FC in Tampa says:

    Garnet, you are being visited probadly because one of yr neighbors is a NRFU and can not be reached by the enumerator. The process then is for the enumerator to try asking neighbors (proxies) for pertinent information on the occupants of the NRFU address. thanks to all who cooperator and let us do our job.

  10. JJ says:

    After completing the form in full and accurately in accordance with the law, I am being called by persons claiming to be with the census bureau. When I ask why they are calling they state they want to verify the information I sent. I tell then I filled the form fully and accurately. I ask them what specific questions they have about my information and they can not tell me. They state they only have the information I supplied. I then tell then the information I supplied is full and accurate but they insist on going over the information again.
    I do not understand this wasteful use of tax payers’ dollars when I did what the law required and filled out the form.

  11. Jeff says:

    If a.Census worker comes to my door asking questions about my neighbor, I will tell them NO!

  12. AM says:

    Not going to post my earlier comment that addressed this, but not going to correct the wrongful (and incorrect) THREAT that was directed at this person either? No wonder people don’t trust you guys.

  13. Ken Dupuy says:

    I never got a form, made one myself, & the census taker said she’d be here (in writing), but that was 3 weeks ago & there’s been no contact since then. I don’t even get the opportunity to refuse! Oh, the luxury of being harassed by the census bureau; maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to experience it someday! Why is this so much more difficult than in 2000?

  14. Michelle says:

    I filled out the form and mailed it in well before the deadline. I got a phone call from a census worker last night while I was trying to get my daughter ready for bed. I told him I didn’t have time to chat and he wanted to set up an appointment with me for a good time to call back. I explained that my husband is in Afghanistan and I am, for now, a single parent who never stops running from 5:30 AM to 10PM, so I couldn’t possibly know what would be a “good” time for them to call. He then told me that he would continue to call until I answered the questions, and snidely remarked that in the time it took me to explain my situation we could have done the interview. First of all, he told me the interview would take 10 minutes; not the 1 minute it took me to explain my situation. Secondly, do not ever speak to me like that again. YOU called ME. I did what was required of me and do not appreciate evening phone calls when I am trying to get things accomplished. I can’t set up an “appointment” for a phone call, and frankly, I don’t feel that I should be required to. I completed the form thoroughly and I can’t even begin to imagine why there would be any additional questions.

  15. garfieldcat63 says:

    I am also being harassed by census takers. I did my duty. We spent time filling out the census and mailed it in way before the deadline so we wouldn’t be harassed. I don’t have time to waste with a census taker. We may need to contact the investigative news teams about this nonsense. A census taker cannot force you to give out your information when you have already filled out the form and mailed it in.

  16. Concerned says:

    I sent in my form. I believe in the US Postal Service and that it is very capable of delivering the mailed forms safely to the Census bureau. You should believe in them too. I hope the two agencies collaborated in the planning for this census to ensure forms would not be ‘lost in transit’ as you say.
    One other thing. In today’s world, is it reasonable to ask people to give their name and phone number and date of birth to a temp worker that knocks on their door?

  17. FED UP says:

    It costs you over $57 per home to send a door to door census taker.
    Isn’t sending people over and over and over again to collect the same information that was already sent out to the census buraeu wasting the tax payers money?
    Isn’t sharing my personal information with ALL THOSE CENSUS TAKERS a great recepie for identity theft????? How can I share my information with strangers knocking on my door or calling on the phone asking for the same information I sent out to you guys many weeks ago?????

  18. Paul says:

    I have never received a census form to fill out and no one has come to my house. I receive my mail at a PO Box and do not have a mail box at my house. I live in Rincon, GA 31326 and am sure I am not the only person that does have delivery to my house as I see a lot of people at the post office each day picking up mail.

  19. DK in SC says:

    I too have received a phone call after diligently filling out the form. My husband & I live with our children. When I received the f/u call, I guess I wasn’t good enough b/c now they have to f/u with my son-in-law to verify information. I feel this is a waste of taxpayer money to be paying these people to do repetitive work. I am irritated with the way this census if being handled!

  20. DR says:

    I have had repeated telephone calls after filing the form the day it arrived. Repeated telephone calls are not appreciated. Since my wife filled out the Census Form, the Census Bureau person on the other end reads from a script and will not talk to me. I have left three call back appointments and all have NOT occurred. These repeated telephone calls are not appreciated. If I get one more call I am going to fill a harassment complaint with my telephone company. Always glad to see my tax dollars a work!

  21. Bonnie says:

    I was going to log my complaint but reading this, I think mine is already covered by others. What a waste of people’s time and tax payers money. How can you possibly be sure that people are not counted more than once if you can’t even keep track of who has returned forms and who hasn’t? I am among the multitude who seem to have received more than one form (vs. those who can’t seem to even get one). Returned the long form, which asked way too many questions that should not even have been asked in my opinion as I’m not sure how that information vs. the “short form” is to be used, followed up with an hour or more interview (was suppose to be 10 minutes) at 9PM and now just greeted my first of how many census takers at the door. At least that was a short form. Maybe we should see this as an effort to provide jobs for the unemployed.

  22. Decline to State says:

    I also sent my form in the time frame by mail. Now I am also being harassed. I declined to share my information again and the enumerator said that Federal Marshals would be sent to my home if I refused. I participated but our government and/or Postal Service failed to do its part and know I am being threatened? I think I need to call some local media outlets!
    Btw I live in Oklahoma City, OK.

  23. Patricia says:

    Mailed cencus in, got ph. call @8:30PM, didn’t want to answer ?’s. thought it was bogus. Got 2nd. call. Lot’s of DUMB questions. Asked if any in household have ever been to Prison. That’s AFTER I said we were all @ this address for the time in question. Quesions were not about amount of people living in home. UR not allowed to ask if we are Illegal,bUT can ask about Mentor homes (unstable people, Prison, Nursing home etc.

  24. robyn says:

    I want the Cencus bureau to stop calling me. This is an infringment on my privacy. I do not answer questons for anyone on the phone. I will never again fill out a census from. I agree with last comment … WHAT A WASTE OF TAXPAYERS MONEY.
    I did my part and completed the census … NOW leave me alone.

  25. L says:

    First: I won’t give my information to a person who comes to my door, even if they are “official” census takers. I already had my identity stolen, and you are crazy to think I’d actually give personal information to the enumerator, especially when it’s someone who is desperate for money in this bad economy. I’m not stupid.
    Second: the census taker damaged my door with masking tape, it took the paint off so now the door has to be repainted, and she drove through the neighbors lawn to turn around causing ruts (gotta love security systems). To whom should I send the bill for damages?
    Third: I work full time and attend school full time. I don’t have time to be around in case the census taker happens to stop by. I had to make a financial choice between phone or internet, I chose internet. I have no phone so quit asking me to call.
    Fourth: If you want people to respond, forget paper, forget crazy people coming to the door, get a national hot line to accept entries by phone, as that is the only way you will get my entry at this point.
    Fifth: I am offended by the notes that the census taker is writing on the notice. Her threats have now made this a game. I hate games, but in this case…
    Play on.

  26. jr says:

    Some neighbors, landlords, lenders, etc., take the chance to give more confidential information than is necessary about their neighbor or what not until it sounds like a gripe session to the census taker who only want to get done ASAP with the questionnaire at hand. And who knows if there are other people around within hearing distance.

  27. Oh good grief. No one can force you to do anything, but you can be fined for refusing to answer the questions. I honestly this country DOES start enforcing the consequences of refusing to answer the Census correctly. You are only being contacted because there is some discrepency on the information you gave on your form. Take the two minutes to answer whatever questions are needed and quit your complaining. How pathetic that this country has to suffer because of whining idiots like you and Michelle.

  28. This is ridiculous. Are you kidding me? Do you file your taxes? Do you know how many people at the IRS handle your taxes? The Census takers don’t even have a quarter of the information that the IRS does. The Census isn’t asking for your SSN, or your bank account information. I bet you have more information readily available and printed on your personal checks than the Census is collecting. Put things into a correct and logical perspective and quit acting like you are so “entitled” to refuse. You live in this country, you use your communities resources that the Census allocates funds for, if you don’t like it, please MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY.

  29. miseryfree says:

    I think alot of people are so spoiled in America, This is the land of the free and why not help and give your 10 mins. It only happens every 10 years. I hear so much complaints and it’s really sad. I am sure it’s frustrating, but what if everyone would just comply how much more easier that would make this count and how much more accurate it can be. People are fighting for our rights across seas, and this is how we repay it? By complaining of something so small as this? Come on people. We aren’t united, and only are growing cold.

  30. CRAZYCOOL says:


  31. US12 says:

    the same is happening with my neighbor. refused to answer the door for the census taker (though I KNEW she was home) and the enumerator had to knock me and ask me to be a proxy (after they attempted to contact her SIX times. SIX TIMES.) If it truly costs $50 to send someone to the door and they did that 6 times, i do wish they could fine her. it’s not rocket science to accomplish this. and they blatantly dodge the enumerator.

  32. 2010 census worker says:

    The census questioneers were sent out early enough to all american household, business, nursing homes,etc.and a certain deadline was set up for them to be mailed back to our main office.
    If they were received after the deadline, the census worker must go out and gather the information for that house hold. We were not trying to be a pain in your life just doing our job so you could be counted in the 2010 census. I worked in the field as a 2010 census worker and was harrassed collecting data for the census bureau. If you decide to take part in the next census you can verify the census worker by calling the supervisor or census office if you think his/her badge is not sufficient enough. Please try to be counted in the next one in 2020 to help out your community-nursing homes churches and schools,etc.

  33. Davidlangen@yahoo.com says:

    Would a census worker call us for a 2010 census in November of 2011 from a cell phone # 808 722 4036 to verify personal information supposedly given to them by our son while we were on vacation?
    The worker didn’t identify herself, just started asking questions. The cell phone number sounds fishy. Is this an ongoing scam?

  34. you can call your regional office to verify census workers. http://www.census.gov/regions/

  35. Jean Martin says:

    When I opened my door today, I noticed a note had been left by the census bureau. I went out to check my mail. And also noticed two women with badges getting in a car
    parked in front of my apt. I walked up to their car & tapped on the window. I asked if they were from the census bureau? They answered yes and asked if they they could come in and talk to me. I said ‘ yes. So I answered all of their questions. ALL of them!
    Some were kind of personal frankly. Anyway, now, they want to call me back every month for at least the next four months! They say it will only take about 5 min. each time. I do not understand why I should be at their beck and call for the next four months!! I have always worked, voted, never been arrested. What is their problem?!
    NOT INTERESTED>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>J. M.

  36. Mark L says:

    I answered the 2010 census with more information than required by the constitution. They got my name, 1 resident, race: American. They never followed up. I assumed they must be happy.

  37. Theresa says:

    I came home from work tonight to find this woman standing in my kitchen with my husband in his underwear! She insisted in coming in to fill out this form! In his underwear??? I am questioning some info she stated to us! She said she will be back each month for eight months to ask the same questions? Is this the way it works? I thought it was a shot deal?

  38. Barbara j weaver says:

    Census taker has been to our home 4 times. We received repeated calls asking same questions. My husband has answered the same questions repeatedly… They told him he is eligible for contact for 3 months… There will be a break and then contacts again for 3 months. Does this seem correct.

  39. Jessica says:

    I had a representative from the US Census Bureau come to my house and ask me a variety of questions about two weeks later another representative called me on the phone and had me answer a whole set of other questions. Since the second interview I have been contacted at least a dozen times by that same woman requesting to ask me more questions. sSe is also come to my house twice. I was honest with my answers during both of the interviews I don’t understand why I am being harassed?

  40. Chriss jones says:

    This is ridiculous. Are you kidding me? Lets say you go to http://whyasdf.com/ and you do that? Do you file your taxes? Do you know how many people at the IRS handle your taxes? The Census takers don’t even have a quarter of the information that the IRS does. The Census isn’t asking for your SSN, or your bank account information. I bet you have more information readily available and printed on your personal checks than the Census is collecting. Put things into a correct and logical perspective and quit acting like you are so “entitled” to refuse. You live in this country, you use your communities resources that the Census allocates funds for, if you don’t like it, please MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY.

  41. Cheryl Simmons says:

    My step son-in-law says the census bureau caller says they have to talk to the census bureau monthly for two years or risk a fine. This sounds bizarre and we are recommending they call the police and then contact a lawyer as this smacks of a scam or extreme intrusion and is beyond any citizen reasonable responsibility to the Federal govt. Is there a special unit to investigate this type of crime?

  42. Citizen X says:

    I answered the question required by law: 1 person lives at this address. No, you may not have my name, race, date of birth, or any other personal information. None of that is required. If they tell you otherwise, they are incorrect and in violation of law. Tell them to get off your property at once.

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