Livingston County is setting the pace statewide when it comes to counting people for the census.

Handy Township Supervisor Ed Alverson told WHMI that based on response rate, at 71.8%, Livingston County is the highest counted county in Michigan, with Macomb being a close second. Alverson is representing 4 western-Livingston County municipalities: Conway, Handy, and Iosco townships, and the Village of Fowlerville. He pointed out efforts in Marion Township and parts of Brighton Township as being strong, but said he is particularly proud of the residents in the rural portions he represents for their participation. He told WHMI that “if everybody had internet, this would be a piece of cake,” but that’s not the reality in western-Livingston County. That, perhaps, makes their numbers even more impressive, with Conway Township reporting a 77% count, and Handy Township reporting 75%.

As of last week, Iosco Township was showing a count rate of 72%, and Fowlerville showing 68%. People without internet can call the federal phone number, 844-330-2020 to complete the census by phone. Alverson said some residents who haven’t responded are even starting to see paper questionnaires arrive in their mail, and that may help the response. As for the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Alverson said it’s had an effect, but that in some ways he thinks it has helped. With more people home and seeing their mail and the ads, he pondered that perhaps that has helped the response rate. But on the other hand, he said that if you want to knock on someone’s door, now is not the time. While the Michigan Townships Association projected rates might go down this census cycle, Alverson said most of our units of government are ahead of where they were 10 years ago. He said Livingston County has done a great job, and if you haven’t responded, please do because major funding for state and local governments is based on population. Every uncounted person equates to approximately $18,000 in lost federal funding over the next decade.

The 2020 Census is 9 questions long and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, with all information provided being confidential and protected by law.