ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The US Census Program from the Inside

Updated on June 2, 2010

 There are over 500,000 working in America right now counting every person, in every house, in every town, city and hamlet. Wages range anywhere from $15 to $22 an hour, depending on the cost of living for that area. Many of the people work in the field as enumerators who come to the door of a residence who DID NOT return their questionnaire by mail. This program is called NRFU (non-response follow up). Others work as Crew leaders, who are in charge of a small platoon 10-25 of enumerators, Field Supervisors, who possess many districts within an area. Others work in the district field office handling the massive amount of paperwork, which for many areas, is a big mess.

By federal law, which always supersedes any State law, when the enumie comes to your door because you failed to return the easy census by mail form, Title 13, Chap 7, sec 223, empowers the enumie to collect census data from each and every household including names and other statistics. If the household refuses, as many do and will, federal agents can appear and impose a fine of up to $500. Much of the info asked is common info: names, ages, DOB, relationship status, race, gender. Any info given is so protected, no governmental agency has access to it for 72 years. I know, in this day of age, not many believe it, but it is, and it is info anyone can get on the Net, would you rather pay $500 and still have to provide it???

The questions asked never ask for SSNs, bank accounts, credit cards or other financial information, and if it is asked, do not give it. 

Should you refuse or avoid the enumerator, just know, they will not go away until it is provided. It may take weeks, but they will be back. So, it is really just best to get over the fear element and provide it.

Working for the Census is a taxi job for all. A job to provide money while in between career type jobs. Like many temp jobs, not everything is in place in the form of policy and procedures for those in the field. It is the kind of job where things change weekly. One week workers are told to do things a certain way, then, it changes the next week. Flexibility is its strong point. Workers can work their 30-40 hrs in any manner during the week and day to accommodate personal preferences. That is, one could work  three hours, stop for 2 hrs, and resume again. One also receives .50 cents a mile driven, this can add up quickly over a week. All pay is electronically done into a bank account, you also receive a paper copy receipt. The Achilles heel is that pay is not always paid the week worked due to incorrectly doing it and it being returned, input error, computer crashes, software malfunctions. The time is submitted on paper and then each one in entered into a the payroll system, which uses a horrifying unstable, user unfriendly, software. Because the payroll is handled by an entirely different admin branch than the enumeration, resolving pay issues is futile and one simply resorts to prayer as their salvation. Your pay may be off a little or by $300, sometimes, the system will seem to overpay you but in reality, they are playing catch up. Pay issues are NOT infrequent!

Ahh, at least it is work! Census data really wants info about the occupants of a given location. Vacancies, unable to locate, demolished, not a housing unit or obtaining occupant info via a third party proxy (neighbor etc), is frowned upon and distrusted by the QA people who review each questionnaire from the field. They want an unrealistic 4% or less from a district, when in reality many are at 10% or higher because of the economy. Thus, there tends to be a lot of rework, revisits to an address to verify the enumerator did not provide false or incorrect info. QA also has a problem with refusals, which are frequent. These occupants simply do not cooperate no matter what law is cited etc.

Napa state hospital went to court with the Feds over providing information. They simply refused to provide any. When the case was heard, the judge threw it out and told the State they must comply. There was no trial, just a quick hearing.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Deerwhisperer profile image

      Brenda K Krupnow 

      8 years ago from Ravenden, AR

      You stated so many things that I didn't know about the census, such as being fined up to $500 for not filling out a form, which I think is criminal in itself. Good job!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)