The US Census and Your Privacy

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By Erin Jones, Wealth Advisor


The 24th United States Census happens this year, as mandated by the Constitution. Every United States address will receive an invitation the weeks of March 12th – March 20th to participate in the Census.

Although the Census collects data regarding the number of people in your home, be aware that your financial information is not part of the questionnaire. Avoid being subject to scams or fraud by knowing what is being asked, and the data that isn’t requested by the Census Bureau.

Here’s some information about the 2020 US census that can help you prepare.

Why does the Bureau collect my information?

The Census Bureau provides critical data used by lawmakers, schools, federal, state and local governments to ensure appropriate funding and representation in the legislative districts. According to the Census Bureau, “billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads and other resources” annually based on the data collected.

Avoid being a victim of fraud

The Census is well-publicized and therefore, there is a high likelihood of scammers attempting to appear as working for the Bureau to try to collect personal information and use it maliciously. To avoid this, be aware of what data the Bureau collects and doesn’t collect.

The Census Bureau will NOT:

  • Send unsolicited emails to request your participation
  • Ask for your Social Security Number, bank account or credit card numbers
  • Ask for money or donations
  • Contact you on behalf of a political party

If someone visits you at your home to collect your data, be sure to verify their identity. Every Bureau worker will have a badge with a photo ID and expiration date.

What Information is collected from the Census?

  • The number of people living or staying in your home
  • Type of resident status –rental or ownership with or without a mortgage
  • Telephone number in case there are questions regarding the completion of the form
  • The name, gender, age and race of the primary resident
  • Name and relationship to primary resident for other members of the household
  • There is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

It is important to complete the Census information as requested. The data collected can impact the funding in your community for schools, protective services, roads and highways, among other resources. There will be instructions on the invitation to complete the Census questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail.

Participation in the Census is required by law to ensure an accurate count of population for appropriate representation. For more information about the 2020 US Census, visit We care about our community and about you. Get in touch today to start the conversation about your financial health and growth!

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