U.S. Census Bureau surveyors will begin visiting Puerto Rico homes starting Mar. 15, inviting residents to participate in the assessment that takes place every 10 years, said Jeff Behler, director of the U.S. Census Bureau’s New York Regional Office.
During a joint press conference with the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, he said during the door-to-door visits, U.S. Census Bureau field representatives will provide a paper questionnaire, along with instructions so that people have options to respond online or by phone.
If the person does not respond to any of the options presented, a census surveyor will return to the residence to help complete the 2020 Census, Behler said.
Operation Census 2020 entails a surveyor recruitment process, the 12 available languages, as well as the options to answer the Census questionnaire that include, via telephone, the internet, printed questionnaire and personal visits to homes by Census employees, he said, following an educational event hosted by the Statistics Institute in anticipation of the start of the local Census data collection process.
Behler detailed the information requested through the Census and stressed that the process never requires the person’s social security number, money and donations requests, political issues or information on bank accounts or credit cards.
The educational event, “Make Puerto Rico count!” census data experts and key U.S. Census Bureau field operations personnel, presented issues related to the census operation and the importance of the official population count, which is considered a unique opportunity every decade.
“The data obtained will be of great help and importance in Puerto Rico’s economic and social scenario, particularly after the historical events that marked our island during this decade,” said Statistics Institute Executive Director Orville M. Disdier.
“That’s why we join the U.S. Census Bureau’s call for everyone to participate and stay informed about the process,” he said.
“The importance of forums like this is they help us understand that Census data provides us with a detailed picture of our society that is useful and necessary in decision-making, in effective planning and in the distribution of funds, among other actions,” said Alberto L. Velázquez-Estrada, manager of the Statistics Institute’s Statistical Projects.