Within the entire State of Michigan, Detroit stands out as a cluster of areas considered “hard to count” by Census standards. Typically a Census questionnaire is mailed to each household, but when there is no response the Census Bureau sends someone in-person to these households.
“For the purpose of this map, a census tract is considered hard-to-count (HTC) if its self-response rate in the 2010 decennial census was 73% or less. If 73% or fewer of the tract’s households that received a census questionnaire mailed it back to the Census Bureau, it is shaded in light orange-to-dark red as a hard-to-count tract on the map.”
Census data is used to make big decisions on federal funding allocations as well as political representation. If an area is improperly counted, then people will lose access to considerable resources.
In May 2017, the Director of the Census Bureau resigned after it became clear that Republicans were going to gut the budget for Census 2020 which had planned to go online. Data shows internet connectivity is lacking across Detroit. If an underfunded Census moves forward and relies heavily on online surveying, much of Detroit will be left uncounted and will remain unresourced as a result. This should be a warning for anyone hoping to implement an online heavy approach to engaging Detroit residents.