Spring has sprung! And so has the census! If you watched TV, read the news or browsed social media in the last week, you likely saw census ads, information and promotional materials. And all of this is for a good cause!
Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau counts the population in all 50 states. This data is then used to determine how much money communities receive from the federal government. For instance, in 2016, Michigan received nearly $30 billion from the federal government, including $1.1 billion for highway planning and construction, $16 billion for health programs, $5 billion for education, $2.3 billion for food assistance programs and $1.5 billion for housing assistance. That’s money we want to continue seeing year after year. But that will require a complete and thorough census count in the state and right here in Macomb County.
For this, and for several other reasons, Macomb is working to make sure every local household fills out their survey. Which is why today, our MMYH blog will share a timeline of what you can expect this census season – including when your census invitation will arrive in your mailbox.
- March 12 - 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 census online, by phone or by mail. To view a sample census letter, click here.
- March 30 - April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
- April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail. When you respond to the census, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
- April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers will also begin following up with households that have not yet responded in areas that include off-campus housing, where residents are not counted in groups.
- May - July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven't responded to the 2020 census to help make sure everyone is counted.
Now that you know what’s ahead for the next few months, you can better prepare to fill out your census form. And it’s very easy – with only nine questions, including:
- Number of people in the household
- Anyone else staying in the house on April 1, 2020
- If you own or rent your home
- Phone number
All it takes is 10 minutes to fill out, and you can have an impact on the next 10 years.
If you have questions or need assistance filling out your form, contact the Census Bureau at 301-763-INFO (4636) or 800-923-8282. If you want to learn more about the 2020 census, visit , and . You can also visit , and .
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist with Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.