Data shows Detroit is lagging in Census response

42% have responded

DETROIT – New stats show that while the state of Michigan as a whole has been responsive to filling out the Census, the city of Detroit has not.

MORE: Where Michigan ranks in response rate, a look at statewide data

“In the midst of all of the, the anxiety and the pain round this COVID-19 virus, the census is more important than ever,” said Victoria Kovari, the Detroit 2020 Census campaign executive director.

Sadly, only about 42 percent of Detroiters have filled out the questionnaire.

“I think one of the biggest factors in Detroit is that Detroit has the lowest internet response rate. Out of any city in the country, by far, and part of that is due to the fact that only 40 percent of our residents are having a regular internet subscription,” Kovari said.

Kovari and her team spent countless hours working on campaigns and other ways to get people to be counted. Unfortunately, like almost everything else, COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench right in the middle of those plans.

“Honestly, that all blew up in March, and all the events that he had sent to other churches, a bunch of other places, went away,” Kovari said.

Yet the Census is still crucial for so many reasons. Federal funds are allocated to cities based on the number of people who participate.

“The federal funding that is for health care services for school lunches that are being passed out every day to students and their families. It’s distributed based on population, and that population is determined by the census,” Kovari said.

The entire Detroit Census campaign won’t rest until the number of completed responses dramatically rises.

“We just launched a neighborhood Census challenge to getting neighborhoods in Detroit to compete against each other, have fun," Kovari said.

The silver lining is that the deadline to complete the census has been extended to Oct. 31.

To fill out your census online, visit my2020census.gov.