Blaine County has seen a slight increase in responses to the 2020 U.S. census since door-to-door operations resumed last month, but remains far behind the rest of the state, data from the Census Bureau shows.

As of May 31, 25 percent of Blaine County residents had responded to the census—a 2 percent increase from the first week of May, when census workers began delivering questionnaires to people’s doorsteps. Statewide, 62.7 percent of Idahoans had responded by the end of the month.

In much of Blaine County, census questionnaires are delivered door-to-door rather than mailed, according to a map on the U.S. census web site. But the spread of COVID-19 meant that door-to-door operations were put on hold until the first week of May. At the time, census organizers said they expected a significant jump in responses in the following weeks.

As of Monday afternoon, Sun Valley and Ketchum still had the lowest response rates in Blaine County, with rates of 6.8 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively. A larger share of people had responded in Bellevue, Carey and Hailey, with Hailey boasting the highest rate at 42.4 percent. That portion was still significantly lower than Idaho’s overall rate.

The deadline for responding has been extended through the end of October due to COVID-19, giving Idahoans an additional three months to respond by phone, mail in their responses or submit their responses online.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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