Census Takers Begin Making House Visits

BARNSTABLE – The United States Census Bureau is following up with Massachusetts residents who have yet to respond to the census at this point with in-person visits.

Census response rates are dropping across the state in comparison to rates during the previous census in 2010.

The national self-response rate currently sits at around 64%, according to Jeff Behler with the U.S. Census Bureau. In comparison, that rate in Boston is at around 55%.

Behler said that the bureau is hiring hundreds of thousands of people across the country, as tens of millions of homes will be visited in the coming weeks to collect responses. T

hose workers will be verifying response rates in areas that have expected low response rates due to vacation and second homes, such as the Cape and Islands.

“Our census takers are out there right now validating that, indeed, these are second homes that someone doesn’t usually live or stay there, or didn’t usually live or stay there as of April 1,” Behler said.

The bureau has also enumerated nearly 14% of the nation, in addition to the roughly 64% of people who have self reported.

Behler understands that some residents may be hesitant to submit their responses during the COVID-19 pandemic and as multiple means via technology are available.

That, he said, is where those census workers come in to provide easy access and assistance.

“It’s safe to talk to them,” Behler said.

“All of our census takers must wear masks. We ask that when they knock on the door, they back up six feet.”

The bureau can also call individuals’ phones and have the responses filled out that way, Behler said.

The census is utilized to allocate funding, government representation, and more resources across the nation. For more details, visit the bureau’s website by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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