Palm Beach County Logo, link to home page
Public Affairs Publications FAQ  Government PBC Departments


PBC logo

Public Affairs

P.O. Box 1989
West Palm Beach, FL 33402-1989
(561) 355-2754
FAX: (561) 355-3819
PBC dot
Palm Beach County
Board of County

Mary Lou Berger

Hal R. Valeche
Vice Mayor

Paulette Burdick

Shelley Vana

Steven L. Abrams

Melissa McKinlay

Priscilla A. Taylor

County Administrator

Verdenia C. Baker

"An equal opportunity
Affirmative Action Employer"

Electronic Press Release

Share |

Consumer Traps & Tips # 60 - Census Takers At Your Door

For immediate release: January 19, 2010
Contact: Dennis Moore, 561-712-6600 • PBC Consumer Affairs Division

A weekly service of the Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs Division


Jennifer lives in downtown Jupiter with her husband and two children. She was on the telephone when the door bell rang. She looked through the front door curtains but didn’t recognize the man who was carrying a shoulder bag and a book binder. Not expecting anyone and a little uneasy about answering the door to a stranger, she went back to her telephone call and waited for the man to leave. But who was he?

The “stranger” at the door was a census taker. What else do you need to know?

  • Census takers are usually from your community and may be your neighbors
  • They carry a book with addresses of those who did not return the 2010 census form. They are issued identification badges and a “U.S. Census Bureau” bag.
  • In March 2010, forms consisting of 10 questions will be sent to every residence in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. There is a return postage-paid envelope provided.
  • If you don’t return the form, you may receive a visit from a census taker.
  • Your participation is required by law and the information you provide is vital to determine the needs of your community. The census taker is sworn for life to protect the data collected. A violation for unlawful disclosure could result in criminal charges or a fine up to $250,000 or imprisonment up to five years or both.
  • Census takers can provide help for people who don’t speak English. They carry flashcards written in 50 languages. The resident points to the language he/she speaks, and the contact will be reassigned to a person who speaks that language.
  • If you’re still uneasy about answering the door to a stranger, look for a door hanger with phone number to call and schedule a visit.

For more information visit or call Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs at 561-712-6600 (Boca/Delray residents call 888-852-7362 toll free) or visit

# # #