2020 Census

What's New

The City of Grand Rapids has hired a Census Coordinator and four Census Ambassadors to help inform the community and motivate residents to participate in the 2020 Census. These individuals are:

Census Coordinator

Kathi Harris

Census Ambassadors

  • Lynell Allen
  • Providence Bowman
  • Reuben Ndjerareou
  • Raul Velasco

You'll see them at events, meetings, and other gatherings around the City between now and Census Day - April 1, 2020. If you have questions about the census or want to be sure you are included in the count, feel free to ask!

You can follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on Census Ambassador activities and related news: https://www.facebook.com/pg/becountedgr.


Grand Rapids is growing – our entire region is growing – in population, diversity, business activity and vibrancy. The 2020 Census is a unique opportunity for us to demonstrate the growth we're seeing in our community. It's vital for Grand Rapids’ success during the next decade. A complete and accurate count is a top priority for the City Commission and City Manager. They have allocated $100,000 to help inform the community and motivate residents to participate in the count. Many partner organizations also are stepping up to support this effort.

Our goal is for each and every Grand Rapids resident to be counted as part of the census. Every household will receive a census form in March 2020. It will be easy to fill out - online or on paper - and help will be available if you need it.

The Census Bureau is getting ready for this huge project, but the Census Bureau can’t do this without the help of local partners such as the City of Grand Rapids, businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, colleges, schools and the media. We’re committed to a complete and accurate count of all Grand Rapids residents – EVERYONE COUNTS!


The census determines the strength of our political voice in Lansing and Washington. And more than $675 billion in annual federal funds is allocated to communities across the country based on census numbers. Our community needs its share to provide vital services, such as health care, education and housing, among others. Additionally, many business decisions, such as where to locate or expand, are informed by census data. Information about what's happening here will have a major impact on what happens here in the future.

For each person counted as part of the 2020 Census, about $18,000 is expected to flow into our community for vital services over the next 10 years. That's broken down into $10,000 for health care, $2,600 for nutrition,$2,000 for education and training, $1,600 for housing and family assistance, $1,200 for transit, and $600 for a range of other services. That’s right -- $18,000 for each and every person. The census is a big deal!

Frequently Asked Questions

No doubt you have questions about the census. It happens only once every 10 years, it's important to our community and it's gaining media coverage. We have answers to many questions on our 2020 Census FAQs page, so please check there first. If you don’t find an answer to your question, feel free to ask a specific question through the form available in the next section.

Census FAQs

Ask a Question

Didn’t see the answer to your question in our FAQs? No problem. You can submit a question through this form, and City staff will get back to you with an answer within 2 business days. If needed, we will consult with experts in specific topic areas. If you heard or read a statement about the census and want to check out whether it's accurate, feel free to submit it here.

Ask a Question

Get Involved

If you or your organization would like to help spread the word and encourage participation in the 2020 Census, please email Census Coordinator Kathi Harris at kharris@grcity.us. She can help match you to the best opportunity to make a difference.

Complete Count Committee

In fall 2018, the City Commission established the Complete Count Committee “Everyone Counts” Grand Rapids 2020. This group is led by the Mayor and includes approximately 70 community leaders who are committed to a complete and accurate count of all residents living in the City of Grand Rapids and surrounding communities. City staff are involved, and the City's Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes significant resources to support this effort.

The full Complete Count Committee had its first meeting on December 21, 2018.

For a timeline and important dates, click here.

The 2020 Census WILL NOT include a question about citizenship.

Heart of West Michigan United Way is managing the Census Hub for Kent County. Census Hubs are part of the Michigan Nonprofits Count Campaign, a collaborative, coordinated, statewide effort to encourage participation in the 2020 Census in communities that are at significant risk of being undercounted.

Click here to visit the Census Hub page.

To see a complete list of Complete Count Committee Members for the 2020 Census, click here.