By Mike Kruzman /

Being less than a month away from Census Day, the Livingston County Complete Count Committee is stressing the importance of participation from residents.

The 2020 Census directly impacts not only the state’s representation in U.S. Congress, but also helps determine state and federal funding down to the county level. Livingston County Commissioner and Chair of the Complete Count Committee Doug Helzerman says that Census info is used to help distribute $675-billion in federal funds annually, and that each person counted is worth roughly $18,000 of that over a 10 year period. Helzerman says, “The better number we have…the more money we can receive.”

Helzerman said that in the previous census it is estimated that less than 90% of all county residents were counted. If the count percentage can be raised by a few percent, it can make a significant difference in the amount of federal and state funding coming to Livingston County.

Helzerman said the Committee is focused on reaching out to harder-to-reach residents in housing areas that are more transitional in nature, like apartments and mobile home parks.

Census Day is April 1st, and residents will be receiving a mailing on how to participate later this month. Residents will find a special code on the mailing, along with instructions on how to participate by phone or over the internet. Those who don’t respond by the first will receive additional mailings, and then it is only after those aren’t responded to that a Census worker will show up, knocking on the door.

The census consists of roughly 10 questions that are confidential with stiff prison sentences and fees to any who compromise it. Census records additionally can’t be released for 72 years, and even then, are done so in a non-specific manner. Helzerman said that one of the hardest things for people to overcome, is that this is from the government, and some people don’t feel comfortable talking to a government agent. He said, “It’s not meant to be intrusive, and the information the ask for is not intrusive.”

For more information, including answers to popular questions, visit, and select census icon from the banner. To hear more from Commissioner Helzerman, be sure to tune in to WHMI’s Viewpoint, this Sunday at 8:30am, when he will be the special guest.