By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
If you haven’t filled out the 2020 census, a census worker may be coming to your door sometime between now and the end of September.
The census only happens once every ten years, and it influences a range of federal and state decisions, like how many seats each state has in the House of Representatives.
“The census affects every single person in the United States, whether they know it or not,” Misty Slater, a 2020 census media specialist for Oregon, said. “There are so many reasons the census is important. Schools, health care, hospitals, clinics, grocery stores even sometimes use census data.”
Around 3,800 workers are going door to door in Oregon to gather data until the census closes on September 30.
Door-to-door data collection will look different than in years past. Census workers will be wearing masks, standing six feet back from the door and they won’t ask people to touch their equipment.
Workers will ask 12 questions, and people can verify they are a real census worker by checking their ID badge and equipment.
“Census takers going door to door is going to create some apprehension in respondents because of the pandemic and because there’s a stranger at their door,” Slater said.
As of Wednesday, Deschutes County is at a 59.7% self-reporting rate. That’s already surpassed the 59.1% self-reporting rate the county had in 2010.
The census is still hiring workers to collect data. They pay $16 per hour in Deschutes County.