Kicking Off the 2020 Census: An Important First Step


With 2020 just around the corner, the U.S. Census Bureau will be canvassing neighborhoods throughout the country, state and county through mid-October 2019. These federal employees are checking addresses to update the agency’s mailing list, which will be used for delivering invitations to the 2020 Census early next year.

This is an important step in the process to ensure a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the United States.

“Ultimately, the success of the census depends on everyone’s participation,” said Marilyn Sanders, Chicago regional director of the U.S. Census Bureau. “And it’s important to remember, when you respond to the census you shape your future and the future of your community.”

Considering that the population count determines how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed to states and local communities each year, the census affects the lives of every person in this country.

For Flint and Genesee County, the census helps determine:

  • The strength of our voice in Washington, D.C. by providing the basis for how many seats Michigan will have in the House of Representatives
  • How much funding our region receives for critical services (e.g., K-12 education, health care)
  • Where businesses choose to invest and build new facilities; how much grant funding is distributed for economic development; and where developers build homes and revitalize neighborhoods

More than 40 percent of Michigan’s budget comes from federal funds allocated based on the census data. And for every person not counted, the state misses out on $1,800 a year for 10 years – or a total of $18,000 per person. This has local implications impacting everything from infrastructure to public works support.

Needless to say, it’s imperative that everyone living in Flint and Genesee County participates in next year’s census. Most households will start receiving invitations to respond online, by phone or by mail in March 2020.

In the meantime, if a U.S. Census Bureau employee stops by your door, take a moment to answer their questions. Census takers will have badges and briefcases indicating their affiliation with the Census Bureau.

You may ask them for a picture ID from another source to confirm their identity. If you still have questions about their identity, you can call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.

To learn more about the 2020 Census, visit