Hey! I Received My 2020 U.S. Census Form Today!

Of course, I am sure that several hundred million other households are also receiving their census forms this week. If you haven’t received yours just yet, I’d suggest you be patient and wait for a bit. The U.S. Postal Service probably cannot deliver several hundred million pieces of mail on the same exact day.
And, yes, I have already gone online at http://my2020census.gov/ and provided my information for posterity. I was amazed and slightly disappointed at how quickly I finished the census questionnaire. “Disappointed” because, as a genealogist, I think the census records should record more information that might be of interest to my descendants many years from now.

19 Comments

I live in Australia. For decades now I have just lied in my census. It was important for me to try to get funding and services for the elderly so I have been eighty years old for the last thirty years or more. I’m still not eighty yet. Ever since I found out that the place existed, my birthplace has been the Lakshadweep of Minicoy and my first language is Dhivehi. I must be the only Dhivehi-speaker whose second language is Polish. What does it matter which languages I speak? I don’t see why governments need to know my religion at all. Are they going to fund one religion over another? Sometimes I’m lazy and I’m just “Buddhist”. Other times I’m “Other” and I stipulate that I’m “Sunyavada” or “Yellow Hat” or some such. I don’t know what their OCR technology makes of stuff like that. It’s all fun but some serious. I am truthful when I say I have no driver’s licence. I’ve not had one in sixty-six years and it’s important again to say that I’m a cyclist. We might get another cycle lane next year.

You are probably aware that it’s only recently, as a result of huge pressure from family historians, that the Australian government have even given us the opportunity to have our census information saved. I elect to do so. You may elect to have your information destroyed when the Australian Bureau of Statistics has done its business.

Stefan

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Dick, the “Long Form” went away years ago. Now the American Community Survey is sent out annually to random people in every community that asks many of the same questions plus things like “how do you commute to work?” This questionnaire is focused on information local communities need for more short term planning.

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    —> Dick, the “Long Form” went away years ago.

    Correct. I have written about that a number of times. However, I miss the old long form and wish it would come back. That’s why I wrote, “I think the census records should record more information that might be of interest to my descendants many years from now.”

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    I’ve always wondered whether the ACS information will be publicly available after 72 like Census data, so that at least a handful of our descendants will have access to more information about us. (I believe my family received the first ACS when I was a kid.) I’ve never been able to find an answer.

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I was disappointed the census did not ask my marital status. I don’t think I was covered in the last three censuses and was recently widowed. I see if there are two or more people in a home it will be noted, but not for singles. I would think there is great value in knowing whether I am single, divorced, widowed, or married living apart (say having an incarcerated spouse). When did they quit noting the marital status of all people?

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I wonder how the elderly or those without computer access will be able to respond to this census ….

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    —> I wonder how the elderly or those without computer access will be able to respond to this census

    Those who do not respond online by a certain date will receive a personal visit by a census taker (enumerator).

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    You will receive a mailable questionnaire shortly in the mail if you fail to respond to the online request. An enumerator will follow-up if you don’t respond to either the online or mail-in form.

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Being a long time fan of the 1990 census, this one didn’t make the mark. However, it was slightly better than 2010 when they only ask if you were Mexican or not.

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    HaHa – Hispanic was overemphasized for sure – I was a census taker. First we had to ask relationship (daughter) and then sex- and we had to ask in a non-lwading way. That was good for some eye rolls!!

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Ten (or was it 20) years ago, I remember someone saying that the US census reforms would not be retained, but the forms would be scanned. As such, it was possible to add information on the paper form that would be saved though not indexed. A future researcher would be able to read and “supplemental” information added by the respondent. Do you know if the 2020 census forms will be imaged?

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    The 2020 census “form” I filled out yesterday was not printed on paper. It was an on-screen “form” and I filled it out mostly by moving the mouse. At the beginning, there were blank spaces for my first, middle, and last names. Also, there was a fill-in blank space for what apparently was a document number (similar to a serial number except it was a mix of letters and numbers). I used the keyboard to enter that info.

    After that, I only used the mouse to click on various check boxes. There was no space to enter any other text for notes or for any other purpose.

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Yes, as a genealogist submitting our answers for the 2020 Census was disappointing. I was disappointed that I wasn’t asked my place of birth, my parents places of birth, my occupation, or any other juicy info that would interest my descendants in the future. The highlight was, after selecting my race, they also wanted my ethnicity. Since they asked, I pulled up my DNA breakdown and entered “63% English, Welsh, Northwestern European; 20% Irish, Scottish; 11% German, Swiss, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, Luxembourger; 3% French; 3% Norwegian and Icelandic.” I was surprised they accepted it!

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I received my census form in the mail with the Census ID number on it. I went to the my2020census.gov website. Before that I went to check on census scams. I saw that the site for census is 2020census.gov (without the my) in front of it. I brought up both websites and they are different. The 2020 website has a clickable link in the upper left that takes you the the census website and has a lot more information on it. The “my” site does not have that clickable link. Now I am confused. Which website should I go to? Are they BOTH legit? If anyone can answer this, I’d appreciate it.

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I am retired living in Mexico. The nice young census taker came to our door and we gave him our information. Lots of questions but they don’t ask whole names. At least we are being counted somewhere.

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I also received the census for our household and was so surprised at what little was asked of us. I expected more and agree with many of your other folks who posted here, that what use will this be to future genealogists when the data becomes available to the general public to see?

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ditto on the comments about not asking enough questions for our descendants to have. I think they should have used the same format used in 1900.

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None of this matters as the COVID-19 Virus is going to kill us all b 2021.

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