Only a third of residents in Pitkin and Eagle Counties have responded to the U.S. Census so far, putting them in the bottom 20% of all counties in Colorado.
Rural areas and areas with second homes can have lower response rates, according to Laurie Cipriano, a spokesperson for the U.S. Census Bureau. She said in-person census takers usually go door-to-door to help count residents of rural areas, but that effort has been delayed due to the pandemic.
Garfield County’s response rate is 62%, and the state’s is 65%. Colorado ranks 17th among all states for response.
Data from the census, gathered every 10 years, is used to allocate congressional seats, federal resources and funding for education. 13 billion federal dollars are distributed in Colorado, apportioned according to population information gathered by the census.
A census campaign in the Roaring Fork Valley is making a concerted effort to reach the Latino community. While some Latino people have expressed fear about sharing personal information with the government, local leaders encourage them to respond accurately and honestly.
People can respond to the census until the end of October.