Galvin: Early Massachusetts census response rate encouraging

March 23, 2020 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said Monday that state residents are responding to the U.S. Census at an encouraging rate.

Galvin said that as of Monday, 22.3% of households in Massachusetts have responded to the national headcount. That’s slightly ahead of the 21% national response rate. The majority of those responding — 20.9% — opted to do so online, compared to 17.8% of households nationwide.

“This is encouraging,” Galvin said. “We have a long way to go.”

Galvin, who oversees the census in Massachusetts, said there are few challenges to obtaining a full count of residents, including the fact that many college students are no longer on campus or have left the state. He also said non-native born residents are concerned about giving information to the government.

Galvin said responding online reduces the need for census takers to go door-to-door. He believes the state’s population is about 6.9 million.

He also said that the coronavirus pandemic demonstrates the need for an accurate census to guarantee the state receives its share of federal resources for the next 10 years.