The U.S. Constitution requires that every person
living in the United States is counted every ten years for the
purpose of ensuring fair representation and distribution of
resources. The U.S. Census Bureau will carry out the census next
spring, and Census Day is on April 1, 2020. The decennial census
provides foundational information that will be used to make
policy decisions for ten years. Given how much is at stake in
Illinois, the Illinois General Assembly appropriated $29 million
of General Revenue Funds for census outreach, education and
mobilization. That work is being launched now to prepare for a
fair and accurate count.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) administered
a statewide Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to issue grants
to community providers and local governments to encourage full
participation in the 2020 Census. Efforts focus on populations
and geographies deemed "Hard to Count" by the U.S. Census
Bureau. "Hard to Count" areas are defined as a geography where
the self-response rate in the 2010 decennial census was 73% or
less. There are also populations that have been historically
undercounted, including young children, immigrants, low-income
households, people of color and rural residents to name a few.
What is at Stake
An accurate count of Illinois' population is
essential to ensure that the State receives the funding it needs
to properly care for its residents and provide critical services
and programs. In 2015, Illinois received $19,738,866,367, or
approximately $1,535 per capita, in federal assistance for
sixteen programs. The failure to count every Illinois resident
would have devastating effects on Illinois' ability to meet the
needs of its residents. Even a one-percent undercount would
result in the State losing $19,557,435 per year for a decade,
resulting in a total loss of $195,574,350.
As important, the number of seats Illinois has in
the U.S. House of Representatives for the next 10 years will be
determined by the census count in 2020. Illinoisans deserve
proportionate representation in the U.S. Congress, and a fair
and accurate census count is how we ensure that happens.
Finally, state and local governments will use
census data to redraw electoral maps in order to align with the
principle "one person, one vote". Our own state's legislative
maps will be re-drawn, and this will impact the size and make-up
of each district in the Illinois General Assembly.
We hope you visit this site often, as we will be
adding information regularly and sharing important local and
national census news. Sign up for the Stakeholder Newsletter to
get timely information about resources and funding available for
you to participate in the 2020 Census to ensure Illinois
conducts a fair and accurate count.
We welcome your input. Please contact us if you
have questions or suggestions related to our census activities.
You can email us at: DHS.CensusNOFO@illinois.gov