CARSON CITY — The U.S. Census Bureau began on Tuesday its “update leave” operations, where 2020 census forms are hand delivered to residences that either do not have mail delivered to the physical location of the home, or the mail delivery information for the residence cannot be verified.
According to Nevada Census 2020, this process is to ensure all Nevadans – particularly in rural communities – are counted.
“We want to make sure people who receive the hand-delivered census forms do not mistake them for an advertisement and accidentally throw them away,” said Churchill County Commission Chairman Pete Olsen. “It’s critical that rural residents who may not receive mail service at their homes still participate in the census.”
The U.S. Census Bureau is prioritizing the health and safety of the public and its employees. Therefore, the update leave process will not require any interaction with residents. Census workers will not ring doorbells or collect data during this phase but will wear personal protective equipment while in the field. Census questionnaires and instructions will be left at or in close proximity of the front doors of homes.
Nevadans have been able to complete their census questionnaire online, over the phone, or by mailing in the form since mid-March. However, many residences, particularly in rural parts of the state, have not received the physical form yet, since they are a part of the update leave phase of the national census.
As of Thursday, Nevada’s self-response rate is 58.4%, compared to the U.S self-response rate of 59.3%. In addition to congressional and state representation, census data is used to help determine how much and where approximately $67 billion in federal funding for the next 10 years will be distributed throughout Nevada.
“We cannot rely solely on residents in the most populous counties in Nevada to be included in the census and expect to get our fair share of federal funding in the rural parts of the state,” said Carolyn Turner, executive director of the Nevada Rural Electric Association. “Nevadans living in rural counties must be counted. It’s our responsibility to respond to the census – whether it’s online, via phone, comes in the mail or is hand delivered.”
Funding based on past census information helped support the United Way Food Shelter in Pershing County; road funds in Lyon, Mineral and Nye counties; and transportation and other services for seniors in Humboldt, Hawthorne and Eureka counties – just to name a few.
The 2020 Census takes about 10 minutes to complete and only asks for basic information. It is confidential, and it does not include questions about financial information, social security numbers, political elections, or any other personal identification information.
More information about the 2020 Nevada Census can be found at www.census.nv.gov.