As we march toward Census Day on April 1, 2020 it’s important to highlight the far-reaching effects of the decennial census in ways that aren’t so obvious. In the most apparent manner, the decennial census is used to establish a representative democracy. In a less apparent manner, the decennial census underlies troves of publicly available data that is the cornerstone for research, decision making, and planning across the country. All things that make an economic impact in our region. The West Michigan Research Network’s members of varying industry backgrounds and experiences rely on this data daily.

Economic Impact in West Michigan

The Right Place Inc., a regional economic development organization in West Michigan, in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the City of Walker was able to assist a company, Feyen Zylstra, expand its operations earlier this year in April. The economic impact of the expansion included the creation of 100 new high-tech jobs and a capital investment of $5.3 million. The company considered expanding its pre-existing out-of-state locations before deciding to expand in the City of Walker.

The researchers at The Right Place helped support this project, in part, with publicly available census data. The census data, which consisted of demographic information as well as economic indicators, was leveraged by the organizations and business to make a decision that resulted in a positive outcome for our region.

Be Counted West Michigan

Census Day on April 1, 2020 is nearing and as it does so do heightened schedules of activity. As a municipal leader we know you’re shouldering a lot of responsibility already. And we are now asking you to think about the far-reaching repercussions of an incomplete or inaccurate census count.

The West Michigan Research Network is here to assist you in your complete count endeavors. Please explore our website and our online analyzer. You will find a timeline of key census dates, easy access to data for a complete count strategy, and information for effective outreach. Lastly, feel free to reach out to us through our Contact form on our website if you have any questions.

Remember, a complete count is not only important to establish a representative democracy but also to promote informed decision making that has significant economic impact in our region.