Coronavirus hampering West Virginia efforts in 2020 census response

By Jake Flatley, WV MetroNews

April 17, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Around 29 percent of West Virginia households have an “unmailable address” and state officials working on the 2020 U.S. Census response believe that is a major reason why numbers remain low.

Jill Upson, the Executive Director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs and member of the state’s Complete Count Commission told MetroNews that the census has been unable to get enumerators out into the field to those addresses because of the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

As of Thursday, West Virginia remains second to last in the country in household response to the census at 37.3 percent, equaling 370,000 responses.

“We have areas that just have the type of geography that you have to physically go out to that household in order for those people to receive their census form,” she said.