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Why is the 2020 Census important to Illinois?

Money and Power! Many of the services that we all use daily are partially, if not fully, funded through the federal government. Those allocations of funds are typically based on the population being served. Every ten years the Census does a 100% count of the population to have a baseline for funding allocation. If you are not in the count then money will not be allocated for you to receive funding for disability services, housing vouchers, tuition assistance, roadway improvements, capital building projects, technology enhancements, etc. The first question asked when funding is concerned is how many people will be impacted by that funding. It is imperative to get as accurate of a count, including everyone, to make sure that Illinois gets a fair share!

Power is another big reason. Illinois currently has 18 out of 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Illinois, due to not growing as fast as other regions since 1910, has decreased from a high of 27 seats! The Congressional districts are redrawn every ten years based on the population counts from the Census. Due to Illinois losing population, and other states gaining in population, those seats will be reallocated according to populations on April 1, 2020. At this point, Illinois will lose another seat, potentially two, depending on the growth and loss of population from now until then. Losing two seats would certainly reduce the power Illinois has in Washington DC to get Illinois needs addressed.


The 2020 Census is a snapshot of what takes place on April 1, 2020. If you were living in a dorm of a university, you are counted at the university. Whatever the status of yourself and others living with you on that day is what you are to report. There are only a few questions that need to be answered and there are no secondary surveys asking more in-depth questions, so response will not be a big requirement of time. The 2020 Census is also the first-time online responses will be offered. If you prefer to use a computer, you can quickly answer your household questions and be done! There will be various sites throughout the state where you can access a computer for this purpose, primarily at public libraries and colleges.

For more information on the history of the Decennial Census, READ MORE.


How is the Census being handled in Illinois?

Each state has a Complete Count Commission. In Illinois, the commission is led by the Secretary of State, Jessie White’s, office. The Commission is responsible for being the liaison with the federal government and creating Complete Count Committees. The committees can be a community group, an association, a nonprofit, any group of people interested in spreading the word about the Census to help get everyone counted. If you are interested in forming a committee, please contact Sherrie Taylor at taylor@niu.edu or call (815) 753-0925. For additonal information on Illinois Complete Count Commission, READ MORE.

Explore My Congressional District Data Tool

Since the new Congress was sworn in on Jan. 3 and the midterm elections in November, interest in the U.S. Census Bureau’s My Congressional District (My CD) tool has remained high. My CD gives users quick and easy access to selected statistics collected by the Census Bureau through the American Community Survey (ACS) and County Business Patterns (CBP). READ MORE.

The ACS provides detailed demographic, social, economic and housing statistics updated each year for the nation's communities. CBP provides annual statistics for businesses with paid employees at a detailed geography and industry level.