MILWAUKEE — Mayor Tom Barrett says only 60 percent of Milwaukee residents have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census - 10 percent below Wisconsin's average.
The average response rate for the city stands at 60.7 percent, compared to 71.8 percent in Wisconsin and 66.6 percent in the U.S.
The mayor raised the issue on Thursday because the number of people who live in an area - and their income, race and other demographics - largely determine how much federal money the area gets. The issue is also crucial because U.S. censuses are completed only every decade.
The deadline to respond is just six days away.
“The 2020 Census is one of the most important civil rights issues of our day,” said Mayor Barrett on Thursday. “Milwaukee’s self-response rate is lagging behind the national average. But, the good news is you still have time to respond. I want every single Milwaukee resident to stand up and be counted.”
According to City Hall, for every resident that goes uncounted, Milwaukee risks losing $1,600 every year for each resident over the next 10 years.
The federal government distributes $675 billion to communities each year for health, education, housing and other areas. Wisconsin gets $12.6 billion based on U.S. Census data.
The U.S. Census is also important, Barrett explains, as it is used to determine how many seats each state gets in Congress.
The census further determines voting wards in Milwaukee. The Common Council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee oversees that process in the city, and final election wards and aldermanic districts will then be considered and adopted by the Common Council.
Households can respond to the 2020 Census online [click here] at 2020census.gov or by phone at 1-844-330-2020.