Census Newsletter Articles

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Be Counted for Berrien’s Fair Share

The U.S. Census Bureau counts each resident every 10 years and 2020 is the year. The Census count is used to get Berrien County’s fair share of federal funds. It’s vital that every one of us be counted. Census-based funding is used for roads, bridges, education, school lunches, Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance, childcare and many more programs.

Based on Census projections, Berrien County is at risk of losing over $44 million per year for 10 years … that’s $440 million due to residents who do not complete the Census form. That’s money we have today we are at risk of losing if we don’t count everyone. Each household will receive a letter next spring telling us how to complete the Census. Every child and every adult in each household counts.

What can you do? Talk about the Census with your friends, neighbors and colleagues. The Berrien Community Foundation is teaming with our nonprofit partners to encourage a fair, accurate and complete count.   

Everyone Counts. For more information, go to BeCountedBerrien.org.


Short and Secure Census Form for 2020

The Census is coming. Official count day is April 1, 2020. The Census form is short, only 9 questions. It will ask your name,  gender, age, birthday, race, ethnicity, phone number, relationship to head-of-household, and owner or renter. Then it asks similar information for each person living at your address.

Even though social media profiles often have the same or even more information, your individual household’s Census information is private. The Census Bureau is committed to keeping your information confidential and secure. By law, individual-level Census information cannot and will not be shared with any agency - not the IRS, sheriff, courts, ICE, DHHS - not anyone, including a landlord. The penalty for unlawful release of information is punishable by federal law.  

What can you do? Talk about the Census with your friends, neighbors and colleagues. Mark your calendar to watch for the Census mailing in late March 2020. Everyone Counts.

For more information, go to BeCountedBerrien.org.


Census Impacts County Funding and Representation

George Washington was president for the first Census. With this long history, Census data is woven throughout the fabric of our country. The process to count every resident in the United States occurs every ten years and, for us, it determines the federal funding Berrien County receives for countless programs. Census data determines funding for special education, school lunches, Head Start, childcare, and foster care. Our fair share of funding for health programs like Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance and health centers is based on Census data. The Census impacts Berrien’s funding for roads, bridges and transportation. These examples represent just 10 of the 16 largest Census-based federally funded programs.

Census data determines the resources needed for emergency management and the number of local hospital beds. It’s used to calculate the state funds for our libraries. The number of our federal and state representatives and the electoral college votes Michigan is allocated depend on Census data.

“As a citizen, I believe that filling out the Census is one of the most important things I can do,” says Tyler Dotson, Watervliet City Manager.  

What can you do? Plan now to take 5 to 10 minutes to complete the Census in the spring of 2020. Tell your friends, neighbors and colleagues why the Census is important to Berrien County getting our fair share.

Everyone Counts. For more information, go to BeCountedBerrien.org.


Everyone Counts

Everyone living at an address matters.  Every person, every child, and every adult counts. Foster children count. Immigrants count. Green card holders count. Migrants count. And everyone living in their household counts too. Boarders, whether they pay rent or sleep on a sofa temporarily, count. The homeless count.

The Census Bureau has special processes for counting the homeless and those living in assisted living, nursing homes or shelters.

What can you do? Count each person in your household. The individual household Census data is confidential and secure. An individual household’s information cannot be shared with any agency from the local police to the IRS, ICE or DHHS, and it cannot be shared with individuals like a landlord.

Everyone Counts. For more information, go to BeCountedBerrien.org.


Away from home for the winter? Complete the Census for one address only … your “heart home” which we hope is in Berrien County. The Census Bureau does not compare the data to voter’s registration, driver’s license or IRS records. If you aren’t home when the census letter arrives, you will be able to log onto the census website and search for your Michigan address to complete the Census.




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