Nonprofit Network Blog

The Count Is Over... (nope not that count)

Thursday, October 29, 2020 1:54 PM | Tracey Wilson (Administrator)

Regina Pinney
Executive Director

Over the course of the last 24 months, the nonprofit community led Michigan’s efforts to gather a complete Census Count.  Nonprofit organizations, as trusted voices, engaged in thousands of hours to reach deep into communities to ensure all people knew the census was occurring, its importance and providing access to complete their census. 

Their efforts were herculean considering the challenges of a new way to count our residents (internet first), the pandemic and the multiple changes to the timeline.

The 2020 Census has wrapped up its data gathering phase and the apportionment counts will be delivered to the President by April 30, 2021, and redistricting data to be delivered to the states no later than July 31, 2021.

Apportionment is the process of dividing up the 435 memberships, or seats, in the House of Representatives among the 50 states according to population. It counts the population at 10-year intervals (yup – the Census). It uses the results of the count to calculate the number of House memberships each state is entitled to have.

The Census provides our community with population data – and this data is used to draw political districts and determine how hundreds of billions of federal funding will be distributed for 100’s of programs like:

  • Medicaid
  • Head Start
  • Block grant programs for community mental health services
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP
  • Road Funding
  • School Funding

The Census count started on March 10 – just days before the pandemic diminished our ability to utilize kiosks, door to door campaigns and events.

But our communities prevailed and found ways to engage the community.

The Census responses come in two forms: self-response (which means you and I completed the Census without the help of an government enumerator), and those that had an enumerator knock on their door and gather the necessary information.

The 2020 Census moved to an internet first model for the first time this year.  This effort was due in part to the growing costs of conducting the Census and utilizing better ways to enumerate our population.  The pandemic revealed significant issues regarding many family’s ability to access the internet, and we can see evidence of this in the internet response rates.

Early next year, demographers and data analysts will begin distributing the data gathered through the 2020 Census.

Michigan finished 8th in the U.S. self-response rate. We became the first state in the nation on June 17, 2020 to have exceeded its 2010 self-response rate. We also ranked 3rd-best in the nation for the largest gain in statewide response from the 2010 census at 71.3%.  

Michigan’s self-response rate was 71.3%

Internet response was 55.9%

2010 self-response rate was 67.7%.

Here is a breakdown of our service areas response rate.  You can dig deep into the data, explore response rates by census tracks HERE:


2020 Self Response Rate

2020 Internet Response Rate

2010 Self Response Rate





























A big Thank you to all the nonprofits who supported the efforts! We are mighty when we work together!

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