By Julia Purdy
While the official 2020 Census kickoff on April 1, 2020 was delayed by the pandemic, households have now begun to receive invitational postcards by mail or physical invitational packets dropped at their door.
A few folks have wondered, why these postcards and packets?
The 2020 Census is aiming for a “complete count” of households in the U.S. and its territories as required by the Constitution. For this national head count, households can respond online using a unique code (provided) or by phone (in English or in 12 other languages), or by mailing the paper questionnaire, or with a census worker who will follow up in person. The 2020 Census reports that workers had dropped off 96% of the packets nationwide as of June 18.
The Census Public Information Office in Maryland reports that the national response rate is about 61.8% as of June 24, with an internet response rate of 49.3%.
Vermont is close behind on internet responses at 42.1%, but lags on the overall response at 54.8%.
Locally, Norwich has the highest response rate at 69% followed closely by Rutland Town at 68.2%.
Killington has the lowest response rate by far at just 11% followed by Ludlow at 21.2%, Plymouth at 22.7% and Pittsfield at 27.9%.
The 2020 Census announced June 24 non-responding households should be receiving an additional reminder postcard later in July, a few weeks before census takers are set to begin visiting most households that haven’t responded.
Outreach visits will begin Aug. 11 and are scheduled to conclude on Oct. 31.
Respondents report that responding online takes at most 15 minutes, and one person answers for the entire household. The Census does not gather financial information and does not carry out law enforcement. Workers are sworn to confidentiality under penalty of law, and responses are not shared with any other entity. Some households that have already responded will receive a census taker visit as part of quality control on the census.
The self-response deadline is Friday, July 31. After that census workers will hit the streets to follow up in person. A “complete count” is essential for accurate results.
For more info, visit 2020census.gov.