2020 Census count kicks off

IN-PERSON INTERVIEW: Enumerators will conduct in-person interviews of all households using a 2020 Census of Guam paper questionnaire. (Photo courtesy of the Guam Census Office.)

The enumeration phase of the 2020 Census begins today, Monday, March 2.  This is the phase when the actual counting is done.

The enumeration phase will continue through the summer. Enumerators will be conducting in-person interviews of every person living on Guam.

Members of every household will be counted and asked a series of questions, including their age, health, race and ethnicity, and employment status, among other questions.

Enumerators will also ask questions about the housing structure itself, such as the year the structure was built and monthly utility costs.

The average interview is expected to last about 40 minutes.

Every enumerator will be wearing a bright yellow safety vest with the 2020 Census of Guam logo. They will also carry a U.S. Census Bureau work bag and two official government badges identifying them as a 2020 Census of Guam worker.

Before every interview, enumerators will introduce themselves as a 2020 Census of Guam worker and present a confidentiality notice that details how the resident’s information is protected.

Terrina Long, the 2020 Census Advisor to Guam, said it’s important that every resident understand that all their personal information is protected by law, and is used only to produce statistics about the island.

“The questions range from age and date of birth of every household member to their educational attainment and veteran status,” she said. “There are even some questions that touch upon health-related topics. As such, it is important that we stress to everyone in the community how seriously we take their privacy.”

The 2020 Census of Guam cannot release any identifiable information about any individual, even to law enforcement agencies, and every census employee swears a lifetime oath to protect all personal information. Violating that oath would result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years, as much as $250,000 in fines, or both.

During the enumeration period, census workers will be collecting data on every person living on Guam, whether they live in a house, apartment, boat, or a non-traditional structure (e.g., a repurposed vehicle or container). Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in group housing will also be counted.

Enumeration follows the address Llsting operation conducted in February, during which the 2020 Census of Guam located and listed housing structures to pave the way for the interviews and population count.

About the 2020 Census of Guam

The 2020 Census of Guam is the once-in-a-decade population count of our island, providing a snapshot of our growing and diverse community.

Responses to the 2020 Census of Guam will help to direct federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services.

For more information, contact the Guam Census Office at (671) 645-2020 or guam@2020census.gov.