CENSUS 2020 - Be Counted!
During this time of anxiety around the COVID crisis, filling out your census form is more important than ever. Funding for health care, school lunches, even the medical equipment in the national stockpile is distributed based on population. Getting our fair share of this essential funding will depend on Detroiters filling out their Census.
There’s a lot at stake for the 2020 census and there is a clear need for outreach, communication, coordination and organizing to ensure a fair and complete count in Michigan. First, communities are at risk of losing critical revenue for programs and services relied on by all Michigan residents. Public officials use census data and the number of people counted to determine distribution of federal funds. In 2014, Michigan was allocated $17.7 billion in federal funds that support many programs and services of importance including, but not limited to: Head Start; food stamps; special education; free and reduced lunch programs; WIC, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Under current funding figures, Michigan would lose an estimated $1,800 of federal funds per year for every person not counted. Without the government funding, communities would turn to philanthropy and nonprofits to fill the void.
Second, those with the most to lose from an undercount are the hardest to count, including communities of color, immigrants, young children, people experiencing homelessness, and those traditionally served by nonprofits. For example, in Michigan 10.8% of the population under the age of five years old lives in a hard-to-count community. Many of the hardest to count individuals live in rural areas where there has been a significant shift in the demographics that may be missed in the 2020 census count.
For more information about the Michigna Census, please visit www.michigan.gov/census2020
MYTH: The Census doesn’t really impact me or my family
Every person counted matters. Each individual has a tremendous effect on funding for vital programs and services used every day by Detroit residents. The amount of federal money for Medicaid, grants for Police and Fire, free school lunches and other food assistance, even college student loans—is determined by the census ---and depends on YOU submitting your census form.
MYTH: The Government can use my personal information on the Census form against me
Federal law requires that your personal information: name, address, age, race, etc. on the census form is sealed by the Census Bureau for 72 YEARS—No one can access your census info---NOT the government, NOT insurance companies, NOT Friend of the Court, NOT your landlord, NOT social services.
MYTH: I have to use the address on my license for the Census
For the Census count, the only address that matters is where you actually live—where you eat and sleep regularly. If you live in Detroit, the Census wants to count you as a Detroiter.
MYTH: The Census only counts citizens
NO, the Census is required by the US Constitution to count everybody. Immigration status does not matter. The count happens every 10 years and includes people who are homeless or incarcerated, kids in foster care or living with a relative, college students living in dorms, renters---EVERYONE.
MYTH: I have to answer every question on the Census form
Even if you only answer one question, the number of people who live in your household, your census form will still be accepted. If you do not submit a form by May 1, 2020, a US Census worker is required by law to visit your home to collect the information. Its best to submit your own census form, that way more people are counted and the information is more accurate.