Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton has pledged to shave his head, live on Facebook, if 75 percent of city residents fill out the census by June 30.
The Floyd County Fiscal Court published a video featuring numerous local community members and officials encouraging residents to fill out their census, and Judge-Executive Robbie Williams has urged people respond several times in meetings and online.
These efforts come alongside requests made by city officials all over the county, as well as other county officials who have pointed out the importance of filing out the census.
Data from the census is used in calculations that determine how much federal funding is disbursed to numerous agencies, including local schools, hospitals, cities and counties. Census data is also used to determine how many legislators represent communities statewide and nationally.
The efforts made by local leaders to improve Floyd County’s census response appear to have made a difference. On May 4, only 39.6 percent of Floyd County residents had responded. On May 18, the county response rate had risen about 3 percent to 43 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.
The census response increased in all Floyd County cities except one, Allen, since May 4.
On May 18, Prestonsburg had the highest response rate in Floyd County, 63.4 percent, which was higher than the state rate of 63.2 percent. Prestonsburg’s response rate increased by more than 5 percent since May 4.
The city ranking second in Floyd County in terms of response is Martin, with a rate of 33 percent, an improvement of about 3 percent since May 4.
Wayland’s response improved by about 4 percent since May 18, and on May 18, the city ranked third in Floyd County in terms of response, at 20.1 percent.
Wheelwright’s response rate increased by more than 1 percent since May 4. As of May 18, 14.7 percent of city residents have responded to the census.
Allen’s response rate did not change, remaining at 12.5 percent on May 18, the same as May 4.
Three Floyd County cities — Allen (with the third lowest response statewide), Wheelwright (with the sixth lowest response statewide) and Wayland (tied for the 10th lowest response statewide) — have response rates of 20.1 percent or lower. The response rankings for Floyd County cities include:
•Prestonsburg: 63.4 percent (ranks 190th out of 415 cities)
INCREASED: On May 4, Prestonsburg’s response rate was 58.2 percent.
•Martin: 33 percent (ranks 386th out of 415th cities)
INCREASED: On May 4, Martin’s response rate was 29.9 percent.
•Wayland: 20.1 percent (ranks 405th out of 415 cities.)
INCREASED: On May 4, Wayland’s response rank was 16 percent.
•Wheelwright: 14.7 percent (ranks 410th out of 415 cities)
INCREASED: On May 4, Wheelwright’s response rate was 13.3 percent.
•Allen: 12.5 percent (ranks 410th out of 415 cities)
SAME RATE: On May 4, Allen’s response rate was 12.5 percent.
The low response in some Floyd County communities could be tied to the lack of internet access and for residents who don’t have mail delivered to their homes.
The U.S. Census Bureau did not send census forms to post office boxes in the U.S., and staff are visiting homes to drop off census forms to residents.
Residents can fill out the census online at, my2020census.gov, or by calling, (844) 330-2020.