On August 12, 2019, the Census Bureau launched its Address Canvassing Campaign to improve and refine the Census Bureau’s address list of households nationwide, which is necessary to deliver invitations to respond to the census. The address list plays a vital role in ensuring a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the United States.
Block Assessment, Research and Classification Application
The Census Bureau created new software called the Block Assessment, Research and Classification Application (BARCA). It compares satellite images of the United States over time, allowing Census Bureau employees to spot new housing developments, changes in existing homes and other housing units that did not previously exist. Reviewers also use BARCA to compare the number of housing units in current imagery with the number of addresses on file for each block.
Census Bureau employees (listers) have started walking through neighborhoods across the country checking addresses not verified using BARCA software. In-field address canvassing will continue through mid-October.
To help identify address listers, employees will have badges and briefcases indicating their affiliation with the Census Bureau. They will knock on doors and ask a few simple questions to verify the address and any additional living quarters on the property for inclusion in the census.
Employees will introduce themselves as a Census Bureau employee, show their official government identification (ID) badge, and explain the purpose of the visit. People may also ask them for a picture ID from another source to confirm their identity.
Purpose of the Operation
This operation is one of several activities the Census Bureau conducts for an accurate and complete count. The Census Bureau also partners with the U.S. Postal Service and tribal, state and local officials to update the address list.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years. Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.