Census Bureau Launches Mobile Questionnaire Assistance to Help People Respond Online to the 2020 Census
Census Response Representatives to Visit Low-Responding Areas
JULY 14, 2020 — More than 3,000 U.S. Census Bureau staff will begin going into communities with the lowest 2020 Census response rates to encourage and assist people with responding on their own to the 2020 Census. This operation, known as the Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) program, is a separate activity from census takers going door to door to count households that have not yet responded. MQA is part of the Census Bureau’s final push to encourage people to complete the 2020 Census before the Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) operation begins nationwide on August 11.
MQA representatives will encourage people to respond to the 2020 Census in open, public places in the lowest responding areas of the nation. These are places where people naturally visit when leaving home to help increase self-response rates. People are encouraged to respond on their own online or by phone. Locations for MQAs will include grocery stores and markets, food banks, laundromats, restaurants and grab-and-go eateries, unemployment offices, back to school drives, places of worship, and libraries.
The local census response representatives will help people complete the census on a 2020 Census tablet or on their own device, while practicing state and local social distancing protocols. All census workers have been trained in social distancing protocols and issued personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks to be worn during MQA support.
About 62% of households across the country have already responded online, by phone or by mail since invitations began arriving in mid-March. The Census Bureau is selecting where to provide MQA based on local response rates and conditions.
If people need help responding in a language other than English, Census Bureau staff can provide phone numbers or assistance responding online in 12 other languages. Staff will also have guides available in 59 languages that walk people through how to respond to the English questionnaire.
All staff will carry an ID badge with their name, photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark seal, and an expiration date. They will have an official Census Bureau-issued bag and tablet. MQA locations will have banners bearing the 2020 Census logo.
In the interest of public health concerns because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Census Bureau staff will decide on a weekly basis whether MQA activities will take place in a low-response area in coordination with local partners.
For more information, visit 2020census.gov.
MQA will be available from July 13 through September 18.
No news release associated with this announcement. Tip Sheet only.