MDARD: U.S. Census Critical for Rural Communities

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2020
Media Contact: Jessy Sielski, 517-284-5725

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reminding Michiganders—particularly those who live and work in rural communities—of the importance of completing the 2020 U.S. Census.

“The Census is important to the entire state of Michigan, but it’s especially important to our rural communities,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell in a new video. “It helps determine how much money Michigan receives for essential services like food assistance, health programs, and education. For farming and rural communities, the Census affects things like grants and loans for community facilities, rental assistance, and cooperative services like MSU Extension. For our state and our rural communities to be successful, it is very important that every person is counted.”

The Census is conducted only once every 10 years, so the data collected this year will be used to determine how much federal assistance is given to rural programs, such as business and industry loans, rural rental assistance, community and facilities loans, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), water and waste disposal systems, and many others. The Census also shapes Michigan’s congressional representation and impacts legislative districts.

The Census collects information about you and the people who live with you. All the information collected by the Census is confidential and will not be shared with anyone. It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2; the U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.

April 1 is recognized as National Census Day, and this is the first time that residents can respond online or by phone. The Census also can be completed using the traditional paper form. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that haven’t responded to the census.

For more information about the 2020 U.S. Census, visit or


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