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With less than a month to go, Grand Rapids Census count around 80 percent

The Census decides not only where billions of federal dollars will go for public services, but also determines representation for each state and community.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For years, Grand Rapids leaders have been working to make sure all of the city's residents get counted in the 2020 Census. COVID-19 has set some of those efforts back, but the city is nearing its goal.

According to Complete County Committee liaison Lou Canfield, 69.5% of the city has participated in self-counting methods like filling out the Census online, by phone or by mail.

For the last several weeks, Census enumerators have been going door-to-door counting people who did not fill out the Census themselves. The city doesn't have exact numbers collected by enumerators, but based on the state average, they believe those workers have counted an additional 10% of the city.

"We think we’re doing pretty well in terms of an urban center. We’re okay with the number, but there’s still quite a few people to count in the next month," he said.

During 13 ON YOUR SIDE's previous reporting, many of our viewers asked how the city knows what percentage has been counted if the count has not yet been completed. We asked Canfield for insight on that.

"The Census Bureau uses residential addresses as the basis for determining how many households have responded, and that’s probably pretty close to the percentage of the population that’s responded," he said.

"But the Constitution requires an actual count, so we can use statistical methods and kind of guess but what really matters is the count."

If you haven't filled out your Census yet, you can still do so online. Each person who is counted will earn their community $18,000 over the next 10 years, which is used for schools, roads, hospitals and more.

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