PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - 5/19/2020
At his briefing each day, Governor Jim Justice reminds West Virginians to respond to the annual Census count.
Currently, the state's response rate is 47% per cent.
But most of the Mid-Ohio Valley is well above that figure.
Wood County's rate remains at 65%m and more than 60$ of Washington County residents are responding, both by mail and online.
But the response rate varies in parts of the county, according to whether or not residents have internet access.
"The southern and western edges of the county where we have more population," according to Flite Frieimann, of the Washington County Job and Family Services office, who is overseeing the Census count in that county, "and where folks have more access to internet, are having a better response rate, at or above the state and national average. The areas where we don't have good internet access or substantial population are having a much lower response rate."
In the city of Marietta, the response rate is 67%, in Belpre, it is 64%.
And according to County Commissioner Jay Powell, Pleasants County has frequently been among the top counties in West Virginia, with a response rate of more than 50%.
Freimann says Ohio's response rate is nearly 65%.
Governor Justice and others remind residents Census figures determine public funding for vital programs..
Wood County has the highest census-response rate in West Virginia at 46.1 percent, officials said Monday.
The statewide rate is 32.2 percent, and the national rate is 44.5 percent.
Officials said more people might be filling out the census forms because they are at home and have more time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is also the first year that the census forms have been available online.
Census data is confidential, but the statistics are used to determine the number of U.S. House representatives from each state.
The census is required by law and the questions must be answered truthfully.
"Because of West Virginia's dwindling population, we are in danger of losing one of only three representatives we have," said Pamela Brust, chairwoman of the Wood County Census Complete County Committee.
"So that's very important. The distribution of literally billions of dollars annually in federal funds coming back to state and local governments are based on those numbers."
Brust said none of the census information is given to immigration, Department of Human Services or law enforcement.
Federal funds provided to state and local governments are also used for housing for the elderly, transportation, programs for children, housing assistance, rehabilitation loans and emergency loans.
To complete the census form visit, my2020census.gov or call 304-422-1947.
You can also email email@example.com with any questions.