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Leaders of Michigan’s “Be Counted” 2020 Census campaign announced final results showing self response rates, but voice concerns

On Oct. 19, leaders of Michigan’s “Be Counted” 2020 Census campaign announced final results from the U.S. Census Bureau that show Michigan finished 8th in the U.S. for its self-response rate – the state’s best performance since at least 1990 – and ranked 3rd-best in the nation for the largest gain in its statewide response rate from the 2010 census.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports 99.9% of all Michigan households in the state have been counted, and through today (Oct. 19), 71.3% of Michigan households self-responded to the 2020 Census. Flint finished 11 points off its 2010 self-response rate with just over 51% of households self-responding, however.

Oakland County finished 2nd nationally for counties with more than 1 million residents with 79.7% self-responding
Wayne County finished 30th of the 45 counties with more than 1 million residents with 66.6%

Michigan 2020 Census Director Kerry Ebersole Singh. and “Be Counted” leaders cautioned that Michigan census officials remain concerned that not all Michiganders were accurately counted this year.

A series of actions by President Donald Trump’s administration has jeopardized the U.S. Census Bureau’s ability to deliver an accurate count of the U.S. population later this year, a task force of the American Statistical Association (ASA) concluded in a report released last week.

For example, a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the U.S. Census Bureau to decide when to end the count if it chose to do so. As a result, the Trump Administration and the agency ended the census count on Oct. 14 – two weeks before a lower federal court’s approved Oct. 31 deadline.

“Be Counted” leaders say U.S. Census Bureau enumerators who conducted door-to-door census count activities in Michigan have not had sufficient time to:

Ensure Michigan’s most vulnerable communities are fully counted.
Visit all uncounted households multiple times, as was planned through the Census Bureau’s initially approved Oct. 31 deadline, to provide as many opportunities to respond as possible.
Verify that homes are accurately listed as occupied or vacant.
Count college students at their universities.
Ensure group quarters such as assisted living facilities have more time to complete the 2020 census.

Michigan is among a coalition of 20 states and 15 cities and counties supported by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel that filed suit July 24 which is pending in federal court to block President Donald Trump’s memo directing undocumented immigrants be excluded from the 2020 census count for purposes of deciding how many members of Congress are apportioned to each state, calling it “unlawful.”

Below are highlights and noteworthy outcomes from Michigan’s results in the 2020 Census, based on state analysis of U.S. Census Bureau results.


Michigan became the first state in the nation on June 17, 2020, to have exceeded its 2010 self-response rate. In 2010, Michigan finished 17th in the U.S. for its self-response rate.
Michigan finished 8th among states for 2020 self-response after 1st-place Minnesota, followed by Washington, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa, while Virginia and Illinois tied for 6th-place.
Michigan is just 0.2% behind 5th-place Iowa in self-response.
Michigan’s 8th-place self-response ranking among all U.S. states is the highest that Michigan has achieved since at least 1990.
Michigan’s rise from 17th in 2010 to 8th-place in 2020 is the state’s biggest increase in the census rankings going back to 1990.
Michigan was 3rd for largest real gain in self-response rate, with 3.6% more Michigan households self-responding in 2020 than in 2010 (71.3% vs. 67.7%).
Only Nevada and Washington had a greater increase with 5.2% higher self-response each
Washington state moved from 21st in 2010 to 2nd (+19 spots) in 2020.

The Census Bureau’s next deadline is Dec. 31, when it must give a tally of the U.S. population that will be used to determine how many seats each state gets in the 435-seat House of Representatives over the next decade. Census data also determine how the federal government distributes some $1.5 trillion annually and are widely used by researchers and businesses to understand demographic trends.

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