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

The state's response rate for the 2020 Census already surpasses its final response rate in 2010

A screenshot of a map of Michigan color-coded by each county's response rate for the 2020 Census. Data and photo from the 2020 Census website. (U.S. Census Bureau)

DETROIT – Efforts to count American households in the 2020 Census are soldiering on amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and Michigan has fared well so far.

Michigan is tied with Iowa for third place for the highest census response rates in the country, according to the census website. The national response rate is 61.5% and Michigan has a 67.8% response rate as of June 18. Michigan’s final self-response rate was 67.7% in 2010.

Minnesota is in first place nationally with a 71% response rate and Wisconsin isn’t far behind with a 68.5% response rate. Alaska and New Mexico are currently reporting the lowest response rates in the country: 47% and 50%, respectively.

Michigan counties in the southern half of the lower peninsula are responding to the 2020 Census in higher percentages than northern parts of the state. Livingston, Macomb and Midland counties are responding at 76.5% and above -- the highest response rates in the state. Keweenaw, Lake, Mackinac and Oscoda counties have response rates of about 30% or below -- the lowest response rates in the state.

You can see how response rates differ among Michigan counties in the map below.

Though southeastern Michigan counties are responding to the census in high percentages, Wayne County -- and Detroit, especially -- are lagging behind. Wayne County currently has a response rate of 62.8% and the city of Detroit has a response rate of 47.3% and is ranked at #491 in the state.

Detroit’s census response rate has a history of being low. In 2010 the city’s final response rate was 53%.

For the 2020 Census, more than 90 events were planned to promote and encourage residents to fill out the census -- but the COVID-19 pandemic forced officials to cancel and adjust their efforts. A parade drove through southwest Detroit on Wednesday evening to promote the census, and volunteers will soon begin going door-to-door to help residents complete the survey.

READ: ‘Soft opening’ for census door knocking to begin next month

The US Census Bureau said in May that census-takers would only be visiting households in the parts of Michigan that have started to reopen amid the pandemic -- though the state has reopened significantly since then. The census is also projecting Detroit’s population will once again shrink in this round of the survey.

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

Some Michigan cities are responding to the 2020 Census in competitive percentages across the country. Here are a few notable rankings:

  • #3 - Huntington Woods, 91.8% response rate
  • #21 - Pleasant Ridge, 89.0% response rate
  • #39 - Beverly Hills, 87.6% response rate
  • #46 - East Grand Rapids, 87.2% response rate
  • #66 - Berkley, 86.4% response rate
  • #70 - Lathrup Village, 86.3% response rate
  • #86 - Grosse Pointe Woods, 85.6% response rate
  • #124 - Grosse Pointe Farms, 84.% response rate
  • #143 - Livonia, 84.4% response rate
  • #162 - DeWitt, 84.0% response rate

You can view national, state, county and city census response rates by clicking here.

Learn more about the 2020 Census and respond to the survey online here.

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.