Thousands of census takers are about to begin the most labor-intensive part of America’s once-a-decade headcount: visiting the 56 million households that have not yet responded to the 2020 questionnaire.
Almost two-thirds of Caldwell County households have already responded. The visits that will start in Kentucky in the coming weeks kick off a phase of the census that was supposed to begin in May before it was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the Census Bureau to suspend field operations for a month and a half and to push back the completion of the census from July 31 to Oct. 31.
Census takers will ask questions about who lives in a household and the residents’ race, sex and relations to each other. Because of the virus, they have been instructed to pose questions from outside and to decline invitations to come indoors. The workers will wear cloth face masks and come equipped with hand sanitizer, gloves, laptops and cellphones.
But there there is still a way to avoid that knock at the door — complete a self-response to the questionnaire mailed in March or April. It can be completed online, by mail or over the phone. Visit https://bit.ly/32y55rk to learn how to respond. As of this week, more than 62% of U.S. households had answered the census questions on their own, while 65.4% of Kentuckians had completed the survey. Caldwell County has one of the best self-response rates in western Kentucky.
Following are the local and surrounding county rates as of Sunday:
• Caldwell 66.3%
• Lyon: 54.1%
• Hopkins: 67.1%
• Crittenden: 62.4%
• Trigg: 58.2%
• Webster: 61.5%
• Christian: 61.5%
The Associated Press and The Times Leader contributed to this story.