The response to the 2020 Census in Pickett County has remained low as counting begins to move into its next phase.
June Iljana is a Tennessee Media Specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau. She said counties with low response on the census risk losing important resources.
“There’s a big risk to a county not receiving the federal resources the residents of that community deserve,” Iljana said. “The census, as most people know, is used to determine our representation at the federal and state levels. But it’s also used to redistribute our federal tax money back to our cities and local communities.”
Iljana said Pickett County’s response rate is currently 46.2-percent. The rate for Tennessee currently sits at 62.4-percent. She said one thing that could be affecting Pickett’s response rate are people who have summer homes in the area.
“My advice for folks is there is for you to respond to primary home,” Iljana said. “But then if you own a vacation home around the (Dale Hollow) Lake, please respond for that vacation home, and at the end of the questionnaire, there’s a box where you can say that this is not your primary residence. That will bring the numbers up for Pickett County and ensure we get everybody counted.”
The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday that it will begin emailing households in low-responding areas to encourage them to respond to the 2020 Census. Millions of emails will be sent into September. These emails supplement a final campaign reminding people to respond to the 2020 Census on their own, as census takers begin asking households to respond to the census.
“The Census Bureau will begin sending census workers to people’s homes probably beginning next week,” Iljana said. “Probably around Tuesday, so you’ll start to see census takers visiting residences that have not yet responded to the census. You can tell that the person is a census taker because they’ll have a photo I.D. issued by the government.”
The U.S. Census is performed every 10-years. This year’s count will continue until September.