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Census 2020: Assuring Senior Citizens And College Students Are Accurately Count

Census 2020

Getting a proper count in the upcoming census is not as simple as it sounds.  There are concerns about count accuracy in our elderly population and among college students.  Area Agency on Aging 1-B community organizer/project coordinator Melody Bryant and EMU assistant director of community relations and engagement Caroline Sanders join WEMU's David Fair for a conversation to clear up these confusions in this month's edition of "Census 2020."


Melody Bryant

Melody Bryant is a Community Organizer and Project Coordinator at the Area Agency on Aging 1-B.  The Area Agency on Aging 1-B is a nonprofit organization that receives state and federal funding and with their community partners serves a six county region in SE Michigan helping older adults and people with disabilities access services and programs.  She is coordinating the Older Adults Count Census 2020  Initiative in Washtenaw, as well as Oakland and Macomb Counties to ensure every older adult gets counted in Michigan.

Melody discusses seniors being potentially undercounted this time around due to the shift in focus of completing the census online, social isolation, and the difficulty of reaching out to snowbirds.  In response, they are working with senior centers and other organizations who serve seniors to host events and convey information about census completion. 

Caroline Sanders

Caroline Sanders is the Assistant Director of Community Relations & Engagement at EMU, acting as a liaison between the EMU community and our business and community partners.  She is helping coordinate census outreach efforts among student populations.

Caroline talks about the need to educate students on how to take the census, as many are unclear WHERE they should be listed, either at their permanent or school address.  Students should be counted where they spend 51% of their year. 


  • The census will begin mailing information on how to take the census online or over the phone, starting March 12th with everyone receiving instructions by the end of March.
  • If you have an idea of how to reach out to potentially undercounted populations, visit washtenaw.org/census2020 to learn how to apply for a mini grant to make your idea a reality.  All individuals, organizations, and business are eligible to apply.


Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development

Washtenaw County Census-2020

2020 Census Research, Operation Plans and Oversight

Census 101

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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