Door-to-door census takers are a hallmark of the once-a-decade national survey. But that goes against the social distancing and isolation orders more and more states—including Idaho—are implementing. Even under these extraordinary circumstances, the U.S. census will be carried out this spring and summer.
But the 2020 census will look different. Joining Idaho Matters live remotely to talk about what exactly will change are Wayne Rysavy with the City of Boise’s Office of Community Engagement, and Hailey Townsend with the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho.
"[W]e’re doing a small targeted digital advertising across Boise, in areas where we know there are harder-to-count populations," said Rysavy, "such as children who are significantly undercounted every census."
Those areas include the West Bench and other neighborhoods where minority groups can be found. Census workers were also supposed to start canvassing door-to-door April 1. Rysavy said that person-to-person interaction is another part of the once-a-decade count that needed to change.
"We’ve also allocated about $50,000 to our canvassing outreach team. In light of [the coronavirus], we’ve shifted some of that toward these digital outreach efforts."
(Click the stacked bars icon to the left of "Census 2020" to view the legend.)
Although many Idahoans will fill out the required census survey online, Rysavy says there's reason to be concerned about parts of Idaho that don’t have adequate internet services.
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