BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Census Takers have begun visiting homes of those who have yet to complete the 2020 population count. They will be out in the community conducting the count until late September.
Citizens can verify if someone is working for the Census by asking for their valid ID badge. It will have their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. They may also be carrying a Census Bureau bags and other bureau equipment.
All Census takers are hired locally and have completed a virtual COVID-19 training in social distancing and health and safety protocols. Additionally, they will wear masks when visiting homes and work seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
If questions remain about their identity, individuals can contact their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
Census takers may also leave a paper copy of the survey hanging on the door in a clear Census 2020 bag.
People can still fill out the Census either online or over the phone, 844-330-2020, until September 30. It’s a total of eight or nine questions and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete.
The current response rate for Georgia is 59.4 percent. In North Georgia, the self-response rates are slightly below the state average.
- Union – 52.5%
- Towns – 46.3%
- Fannin – 37.1%
- Gilmer – 45%
- Lumpkin – 62.2%
- White – 49.1%
- Rabun – 38.4%
Pat Malone who leads the Complete Count Committee for Union and Towns County explained that the low response rates are a reflection of the several second homes in the area.
“Towns County has about 40 percent of residences that are rental properties and second homes, so if you factor those out, the real percentage for Towns County is right around 79 percent. I think we’re much better off,” he said.
After September, the Census Bureau will “determine final housing unit status, populate any missing housing unit data on household size and finalize the universe to be included in the apportionment count file.” The deadline for this is December 31, 2020.
In March 2021, the process of redistricting will begin, which influences the amount of funds local governments receive from the federal level. Malone confirmed that the second homes and rental properties shouldn’t affect the county’s federal funding.