A Look at U.S. Census Response Rates in Northern Michigan

“If folks decided not to complete the census this hurts bringing dollars back into your community."

After a few changes, the U.S. Census has now officially ended their count.

Now we are getting a look at response rates across Northern Michigan.

Overall, the state ranked eighth in the nation for response rates. Census Pic

In Northern Michigan some communities are among the highest response rates in the state, others are among the lowest.

“We need to have a good idea of where our community is, and a hint to where it’s going,” said Emmet County Commissioner Charlie MacInnis.

He says the census important to the county but, not just because of the federal funding it’s tied to.

“Our master plan is based on demographics, and demographics are based on the census so it’s important to have a good count,” MacInnis said.

This year, Emmet County saw a 6% increase in their response rate compared to the last census.

“The higher the response rate, the more accurate the census count, the more accurate the count the better decision-making process for local governments, businesses, others in our community,” MacInnis said.

While Emmet County residents responded to the census at a higher rate this time around, that’s not the case for every Northern Michigan community.

Just across the bridge, Mackinac County is among the lowest response rates in the state at nearly 35%. Lake County is the lowest in the entire state with below 30%.

“If folks decided not to complete the census this hurts bringing dollars back into your community,” said Michigan 2020 Census director Kerry Ebersole Singh.

“We are hopeful that part of the reason that there appears to be a low response rate is due to second homes, hunting cabins, or vacation homes that folks have in Northern Michigan,” Ebersole Singh said.

While there is no option for those who may have missed filling out the census, Ebersole Singh says she’s proud of Michigan’s overall response especially given all this year’s hurdles.

You can see a county-by-county breakdown of response rates by clicking here.