Joe Friedrichs

Second homes and vacation rentals impacting Cook County census count

There are many hundreds of seasonal homes and cabins throughout Cook County where property owners have not completed the 2020 census as of early September, according to local officials and census workers in Minnesota.

Homeowners in Minnesota are required to complete a census for each house they own, according to Sam Fettig, the Minnesota partnership coordinator for the U.S. Census Bureau. With less than one month left to respond to the 2020 census, there remains a significant number of people in Cook County who still have not completed the census. As field workers continue to visit homes throughout the county, occasionally visiting the same property multiple times, officials say they will try to educate residents over the next few weeks to try to get more people to respond before the Sept. 30 deadline.

As of Sept. 4, Cook County had a response rate of just over 30 percent for the 2020 census count. This lower percentage is likely because people who own vacation homes or short-term rental properties are not filling out the census, according to state officials.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Fettig to learn more about the 2020 census count in Cook County and throughout Minnesota. The audio below is their full conversation.