Detroit census response rate low; census staff to encourage participation

Detroit census response rate lags behind other Michigan cities

FILE - this April 5, 2020 file photo, shows An envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – U.S. Census Bureau staff are coming to Detroit communities to encourage residents to complete the 2020 Census.

Detroit, with 380,572 households, has a census response rate of 47.9 percent as of Wednesday -- one of the lowest census response rates in the state and among larger cities across the country, according to Census Bureau data.

Wayne County has an overall census response rate of 63.3 percent, which is low compared to response rates in Macomb County, 78.9 percent, and Oakland County, 74.6 percent. Wayne County is the most populated county in the state of Michigan.

Wayne County’s response rate is ranked #63 in Michigan, while Detroit’s response rate is ranked #491 out of all Michigan cities and townships.

2020 Census response rates in Wayne County broken down by cities and townships. Detroit and the Metro Detroit area have the lowest census response rates in the county. Data and image provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Michigan’s overall response rate has been among the highest in the country and is currently at 68.2 percent, just behind Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The national response rate to the census is 62.1 percent.

The bureau is deploying a team of staff under the Mobile Questionnaire Assistance program to visit U.S. communities with the lowest census response rates and encourage residents to complete the survey.

June 18, 2020: Census update: Michigan response rate ranks 3rd nationally, Detroit lags behind

Bureau staff will be present at open, public areas such as grocery stores, food banks, restaurants, libraries and laundromats through September 18. Staff can be identified by an official ID badge and will have a Census Bureau-issued tablet for responding to the census.

The traditional door-to-door census takers will begin following up with nonresponding households on August 11 across the U.S. The timeline for outreach activities related to the 2020 Census have been pushed and extended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Census Bureau has requested to extend the census self-response deadline to October 31 due to the pandemic.

Click here to quickly respond to the 2020 Census online.

Related: Population decline predicted for Detroit because 2020 census field operations put on hold

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.