Workers for the 2020 Census opened their Salt Lake City office on Tuesday, looking for Utahns to fill thousands of jobs with the census and reminding everyone that this census is historic. For the first time ever, people can fill out the questionnaire online.
“More options are better. This will allow people more ways to respond,” said Dr. Pamela Perlich, a demographer with the University of Utah’s Kem Gardner Policy Institute.
Perlich said in order to get the most accurate count of people living in Utah and the U.S., people have to answer the questionnaire.
She estimates the Utah population will be around 3.25 million.
If you are interested in applying for census jobs in Utah, visit this website.
The U.S. Constitution mandates a count of every person living in the country every 10 years.
Cathy Lacy, a regional director for the Census Bureau, said the questionnaire asks 10 questions about who lives in a household. The questions pertain to age, relationship between people living in a household, race, ethnicity and date of birth. The census asks for a phone number only in case information needs to be verified.
Lacy said the census never asks for money or sensitive information like social security numbers or bank accounts.
From March through April, letters will show up in people’s mailboxes with instructions on how to complete the census. Lacy said never click on any links for the census that might show up in your email.
Also, census workers who might show up at your door will only do so if you don’t fill out the census or if they want to verify your address. They should wear badges and will not ask you for money or any financial or social security information.
State legislators voted in September to spend $1 million on census outreach programs to target historically under-counted populations, including children under the age of 5.
Sergio Martinez, a resident of Utah County, will oversee two teams that will educate leaders in communities about the census. Those community leaders will then work in their neighborhoods to ensure people take part in the count.
Martinez, an immigrant, said he understands many immigrants will be afraid to answer the questionnaire, wondering whether the information they provide will be used against them.
The census will not ask any questions about immigration status or citizenship.
“We do not share the confidential information with ICE, Homeland Security, or any other law enforcement agency,” Martinez said.