LANSING, MI – Each decade, the U.S. Census strives to count every person living in the United States. The next census is scheduled to occur in this year. It is vital for everyone living in Michigan on April 1, 2020, or anyone who spends at least 50 percent of their time in Michigan, to be counted as living in Michigan on the 2020 U.S. Census.
An accurate count is critically important in determining how much federal funding our state will receive for essential services that impact local communities. For instance, in 2016, Michigan received nearly $30 billion in federal funding for programs like highway planning and construction, food and housing assistance, health, and education.
Census results can also affect our Congressional representation. We currently have 14 representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives but stand the chance of losing one seat if our population declines. If that happens, our state’s congressional districts would have to be redrawn, which would lead to a reduction in the number of electoral votes we have in presidential elections.
Despite its importance, many challenges, obstacles and misinformation about the census persist which could hamper participation. This is especially true in rural communities and larger cities, which have been traditionally undercounted in previous census counts.
To ensure an accurate count, the Michigan Census Committee has launched a statewide “Count Me In” campaign, to communicate the importance of completing the census, dispel myths and maximize participation in the census. The campaign focuses on the ‘three Cs’: the 2020 Census is convenient, confidential and critical to our future here in Michigan.
Completing the census is easy and the questions are simple. You will be asked how many people are living or staying in your home on April 1, 2020; whether the home is owned or rented; the sex, age and race of each person in your home and their relationship to you. Governments, businesses, communities and non-profits all rely on the data these questions produce to make critical decisions.
So, what can you do to help ensure a successful and accurate 2020 Census count? First, be counted! By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census marks the first time you’ll have the option to respond online. You can even respond from your mobile device. Responding by phone or mail will also still be options. Second, help spread the word to your family members, friends and neighbors that responding to the census is vital to Michigan’s future success.