It’s not too late to be a Hero!
There’s still time to significantly influence your community’s future.
If you forgot to complete the Census, you still can be a hero by filling it out today. Your statistics will significantly influence your community’s future. Over the next decade, each person counted receives about $20,567 for their community. By completing the Census, you help your community to get its fair share of this money to fund projects and services.
The Census Bureau has made it easier and quicker for you to share the statistics that will be used to figure out how much money the Federal Government gives to Illinois. The easiest way is to go online at my2020Census.gov. You can also complete the survey over the phone in English at 1-844-330-2020 or in Spanish at 1-844-468-2020. Or, you can fill out the survey and mail it in.
Your responses are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your personal information is never shared with other government agencies.
Why take the 2020 Census
There are many reasons to complete the Census, here are a few:
- Census data guides the allocation of more than $3.7 billion in federal funding for Illinoisans to access programs and services like Medicaid, SNAP, Head Start, WIC, child care, and many more. If you don’t get counted, Illinois won’t get its fair share.
- Census data is used to determine where to provide services like bus routes, designing school districts, where to build businesses, and emergency services. Imagine what your community will look like if it doesn’t get enough resources to support everyone.
The Census count is also used to determine a state’s political representation including assigning congressional seats.
A census will be taken of all persons living in the United States. It is important that every Illinois resident be counted so our state population accurately reflects our needs. While many Illinoisans will answer the census questionnaire when it arrives, some demographics are consistently undercounted due to low participation. Among the groups historically undercounted in the census:
- Minority communities
- College students
- Foreign born Illinois residents (documented and undocumented)
- Retirees spending summer in Illinois and winter in warmer climates
- Farm families residing in rural counties
- Persons living in large housing units or apartment complexes
- Children under age 5
The importance of participating in the census cannot be understated. Responses to the census questionnaire are kept confidential by the U.S. Census Bureau. The information is not shared with other federal or state government agencies.
Why Should It Matter to Me?
Many residents think census data is only used to determine the number of legislative seats Illinois has in Washington or Springfield. This is only a part of what is determined by census results.
Census participation and results also determine the amount of federal money Illinois receives each year to support:
- Infrastructure needs, such as road construction and repair
- Schools and school districts in your community
- Hospitals and emergency healthcare centers for the insured and uninsured
- Social services programs that provide assistance for senior citizens, veterans and low-income families
- Large companies’ and local business enterprises’ decisions to potentially build or expand their corporate offices or factories, bringing employment opportunities to communities
What’s at Stake?
The George Washington Institute for Public Policy’s report “Counting for Dollars 2020” estimates that the undercount of Illinoisans in the 2010 Census resulted in a loss of $952 per person of federal funding. In 2015 alone, Illinois lost $122 million for every 1 percent of the population not counted in the 2010 Census.
Census Day starts April 1, 2020
The most important thing you can do is respond to the census questionnaire when you receive it. There will be multiple ways to respond:
- Online – For the first time, this census questionnaire can be completed online using your personal computer. If you do not have a computer or access to the internet, please visit your local library and ask to use a public computer. (Guide on how to complete the census online)
- Phone – The U.S. Census Bureau will have a phone system set up so you can call and complete the census questionnaire at your convenience.
- Mail – If you do not choose to complete the questionnaire online or utilize the phone system, you can still submit your questionnaire via U.S. mail.
Your census questionnaire answers are kept confidential by the U.S. Census Bureau. The information is not shared with other federal or state government agencies.