If you’ve seen people walking around your neighborhood with a shoulder bag, phone, laptop, and/or a badge, you might think they’re solicitors but they might actually be census takers. Between August 4 to October 18, census takers will be canvassing neighborhoods gathering information, verifying addresses, and collecting other data in preparation for the 2020 Census.

The U.S. Census provides an important view on how our country is changing and ensures that each community gets the right number of representatives in government. It also helps with the equitable distribution of public funds, such as federal and state funding for educational programs, healthcare, law enforcement and highways. To get the most accurate information, we need to ensure everyone in our community is counted where they reside and properly identifies demographic information.

The Census Bureau’s address canvassing process for the 2020 Census has started across the country. This process involves Census employees from our own community visiting neighborhoods to verify the location of houses, apartments, shelters and other places where people could live or stay. This process will continue through October 18. Canvassers will attempt to knock on every door in the neighborhoods they are canvassing.

This is one of several activities the Census Bureau conducts for an accurate and complete count. The Census Bureau also partners with the U.S. Postal Service and tribal, state and local officials to update the address list.

“Ultimately, the success of the census depends on everyone’s participation,” said Marilyn Sanders, Chicago regional director. “And it’s important to remember, when you respond to the census you shape your future and the future of your community.”

The 2020 Census officially starts counting people in January 2020 in Alaska but most households in the country will start receiving invitations to respond online, by phone or by mail in March 2020.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years. Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.

For more information on address canvassing, visit the Census Bureau www.census.gov.