In Blog: Factually Speaking

People are stepping up to help their communities in many ways through the COVID-19 crisis. From mutual aid groups to practicing responsible social distancing, Michiganders are doing their part to get through this together.

If you haven’t done so already, taking the census is a small act you can do right now to help your community over the next decade. It only takes a few minutes and can be done from home—online, by phone or by mail.

If people in your community get missed by the census, that means less money for roads, schools, healthcare services and more. The COVID-19 crisis threatens the 2020 Census, as workers must wait to go door to door and many community gathering places, where census events were planned, are closed. We can’t let this crisis lead to an undercount.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s at stake. In Fiscal Year 2016, federal dollars to Michigan that were determined using census data included:

  • Over $12 billion in Medicaid 
  • Over $2 billion in food assistance (SNAP)
  • Over $1 billion in highway planning and construction
  • Over $400 million in special education grants
  • Over $300 million in school lunches
  • And millions of dollars more for child care, health centers, Medicare, housing and more

Additionally, the state of Michigan and localities will begin receiving assistance in response to COVID-19. In crises, census data is used to make crucial decisions about resources and where money is spent. That’s another reason why we need to make sure no one gets missed, including those in hard-to-reach areas, complex households or those living without homes.

Responses are confidential and only used to produce statistics. Your answers are prohibited from being shared with law enforcement, immigration officials or landlords.

The Census Bureau is making adjustments to keep workers safe and encourage participation during this challenging time. As of now, you have until Aug. 14 to self-respond.

Respond today and don’t forget to count everyone, especially children and babies, living in your household—even if they’re only staying there temporarily. It was estimated that over 10% of children under 5 were missed in the 2010 Census. All communities rely on a complete count. You can find resources for why the census is important to different demographic groups here.

Filling out the census is a small service that will have a big impact for the next ten years. Spread the word this Census Day to self-respond and count everyone: and especially to #CountAllKids!

Here’s how to take the census.

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