News Brief: Census response rates show gains, still behind state, national rates

Berkshire County 2020 Census response rates show gains, still behind state and national rates

Pittsfield — The Berkshire County 2020 Census Complete Count Committee Thursday released updated figures, showing that 53.9 percent of households in Berkshire County have responded to the Census survey, ranking 10th out of 14 Massachusetts counties. The Massachusetts statewide response rate is 61.1 percent and the national rate is currently 59.0 percent.

Dalton is leading the county with a 73 percent overall response, with Clarksburg gaining on it at 68.6 percent. Adams’ overall response rate is 64.4 percent and Williamstown at 63.6 percent. For the cities, Pittsfield shows a 62.7 percent overall response with North Adams at 57.3 percent. At the lower end of the scale, Stockbridge is at 16 percent, Monterey at 15.9 percent and Hancock is at 15.6 percent overall response.

Berkshire Complete Count Chairperson Mark Maloy of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission said of this week’s results: “Clearly, the interruption caused by the coronavirus shutdown has had an impact on our 2020 Census effort. People have a lot of things on their minds right now. So, while we feel we’re doing well under the circumstances, it’s definitely going to be a more drawn-out survey process. We are working with all communities to keep the positive momentum going.”

Here is how each community stands in the Complete Count.

The U.S. Census Bureau has extended the national deadline for active data collection until Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in most parts of the country, including U.S. territories. The constitutional mandate to deliver a final count by the year’s end has also been extended by Congress to Friday, April 30, 2021.

The first-time use of the internet to collect Census data has proven to be successful and timely in light of the shutdown, according to the USCB. The portal is responsible for having collected 47.8 percent of the 87,200,000 household responses received so far. The user-friendly system may be accessed via computer, tablet or cell phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you haven’t responded for your household already, login now, or help a neighbor or friend to do so.

Those more comfortable responding to the survey by speaking directly to a Census Bureau employee may call the toll-free number (844) 330-2020. Multilingual services are available to assist callers in answering the short survey in the languages they are most comfortable speaking.

The Complete Count Committee is available to answer residents’ questions or concerns about the Berkshire 2020 Census effort at (413) 442-1521 x29 or mmaloy@berkshireplanning.org.