News

Actions

Detroit prepares to be counted for 2020 Census

Posted at 5:01 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 17:41:25-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The City of Detroit's 2020 Census campaign will officially launch in less than two weeks, on April 1.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census counts every resident in the country to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and to distribute billions of dollars in federal funding to local communities, and that's why the City of Detroit is starting an aggressive campaign to count everyone – young and old.

"It doesn't depend on your income, it doesn't depend on the kind of place you live, so if you live under a bridge or in a group home, you will be counted just the same," said Vicky Kovari, Director of Detroit 2020 Census campaign.

The city is concerned because in 2010, only 64 percent of Detroiters responded to the census and that was a six percent drop from the 2000 Census. City officials say it cost Detroiters millions in federal funding.

It's estimated that for every person not included in the count, Detroit loses $1,800 a year for ten years.

Action News is told one of the challenges are high rise apartment buildings that can be hard to access and, traditionally, its residents are not counted accurately.

"We are going to recruit people to be a part of our street outreach team," Kovari said. "Going to barber shops and beauty salons."

Campaign workers and volunteers will also be going to churches and schools.

Around the city there will be 100 assistance centers which will include locations inside of health clinics where there is a lot of traffic.

An this year you'll be able to fill out the Census online or by phone, but you can still do it the old school paper way.

Kovari said it's very important that people understand that their information will not be shared with any other federal agencies including immigration or law enforcement.

"The information is protected by federal law," said Kovari. "You don't have to be a citizen. It doesn't depend on your age. We are counting babies to seniors."

There will soon be jobs and volunteer positions available through the City of Detroit. Kovari said they want people who know Detroit to be a part of counting Detroit.

There will be 1,500 federal jobs available here in Detroit and residents are also encouraged to apply for those positions at 2020census.gov.

For more information on the 2020 Census, visit www.census.gov or click here.