Door County is lagging behind much of the state in responding to the 2020 census. Dan Powers, a member of the Door County Complete County Committee, said Door County’s response rate is less than 38 percent, while the statewide response rate was almost 61 percent through April 26.
Powers said many people don’t realize just how important the census count is.
“A lot of money and programs that come through the state and federal government are affected by the census,” Powers said. “Everything from the apportionment of congressional districts, to upcoming redistricting in the state, to funding for myriad programs for schools and local governments are based on the census.”
Powers said that for each person who is undercounted, it could cost the county as much as $2,000 in state funding.
Some of the county’s low response rate can be attributed to the number of seasonal housing units, particularly in northern Door County. The census is based on addresses, so if a form is sent to an unoccupied address and nobody responds, it’s counted as a nonresponse. Powers said property owners of unoccupied units should go online to my2020census.gov to fill out the form as zero occupants at that address.
The count is also hampered by COVID-19. College students who were sent home from campus because of the crisis should still be counted based on where they lived while at school.
Powers stressed that census answers are kept confidential. There is no citizenship question on the form; no financial information is requested; and no personal information is required other than name and address. Census responses are required by law of all people living in the United States.
In March, Census 2020 invitations were sent to all household addresses (except P.O. boxes) with an individualized Census ID and a request to respond online at my2020census.gov or by calling 844.330.2020 to complete the form. You do not need the census ID to complete the form, however. It takes fewer than 10 minutes to complete.
To learn more about the census in Door County, listen to Dan Powers on the Door County Pulse Podcast from April 28: