Census Q&A: What If I'm Moving During The Census? Or Homeless? Or Live in a Mobile Home?

Census Q&A: What If I’m Moving During The Census? Or Homeless? Or Live in a Mobile Home?

As the April 1 “Census Day” draws near, residents of Kane County will have questions as they begin to fill out census forms online, by phone or in the mail.

For example, what if I live in an RV park? What if my friend lives on a boat? What if I’m moving on Census Day or in the process of moving?

The following is some advice for America’s mobile community, courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau.

General Rule of Thumb

Historically, counting “transitory” people in a census has been a challenge, but the Census Bureau is determined to include them in the 2020 Census.

This population includes people who live in transitory or temporary locations and typically pay a fee to do so.

If you are among these folks and have a more permanent home elsewhere, the Census Bureau considers the place you spend most of your time as your address.

How Homeless People Are Counted

For census purposes, enumeration of the transitory population does not include people who are experiencing homelessness and live in makeshift tents or RV encampments where they do not pay to stay.

This population is counted in a separate “group quarters” operation called Service-Based Enumeration. If a hotel is only used to shelter people who are experiencing homelessness, it will then fall under the definition of “group quarters.”

Categories of Transitory Residents

Basically, “transitory” folks will be asked to assign a code to identify their category and location. Examples include:

  • 10 = Campground
  • 20 = Recreational Vehicle (RV) Park
  • 30 = Marina
  • 40 = Hotel or Motel
  • 50 = Racetrack
  • 60 = Circus or Carnival
  • 90 = Other Transitory Location

Although most people living in households will get a letter with instructions on how to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail, individuals living in transitory locations will be interviewed in person by a census taker.

From April 9 to May 4, the Census Bureau is deploying about 14,000 census takers to campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, hotels, motels, racetracks, carnivals, circuses and other locations across the country to enumerate people who don’t have permanent addresses.

Using a paper questionnaire, they will ask respondents their name, age, date of birth, sex, race, who else lives them and whether there’s another place they stay or live most of the time.

What If I’m Moving on Census Day?

People who are moving should count themselves just once, in one home.

  • If they move into their new residence on April 1, 2020, they should count themselves at that residence.
  • If they move out of their old residence on April 1, 2020, but have not yet moved into their new home, they should count themselves at their old residence.

With or Without a Mailbox, You Will Be Counted

It is important for everyone including those living in transitory locations to respond to the 2020 Census.

Statistics on the U.S. population help state, local and federal officials decide how to spend billions of dollars annually in federal funds for critical public services, such as hospitals and clinics, emergency response, schools, roads and bridges.

No matter where you live, those public services are important to you, too.

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau news release