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Everyone Counts: Census 2020 resources

Every ten years, every person residing in the country has an opportunity to have their voice be heard and be counted.

The census determines congressional representation, helps determine how federal funds flow into states and provides information that will impact our community for the next decade!

It is simple. Most of us should have received mail from the U.S. Census Bureau. The letter contains your household’s Census ID number to be used when filling out the census online at http://my2020census.gov.

Simply go to the website, click the “start questionnaire” button on the right side of the screen and answer the questions. It should take no more than a couple minutes per person.

Would you rather respond by phone or mail? No problem – a paper questionnaire will be sent to your home soon if you have yet to respond online.

The information you provide will impact our community every day – from influencing highway planning to determining how money is allocated to public school programs.

Please take time to help shape our future. Your response matters!

– from Laurie Sedio, Executive Director of Metropolitan Family Services Midway 

Why is the census important?

Census counts are tied to federal funding for things like roads, hospitals, schools, police, Medicare, SNAP benefits, housing, unemployment insurance, government-funded organizations like Metropolitan Family Services, and more.

The census also determines the number of congressional seats each state gets. For every person who isn’t counted in the census, Illinois loses between $1,400 – $1,800 per year in federal funding for the next decade. That’s why it’s crucial that every resident who is alive on April 1, 2020 gets counted.

How will the census work?

You will receive an invitation to complete the census in the mail between March 12-20. The invitation will include instructions for how to complete the census online. Translation services are available in 59 languages.

If you haven’t completed the online form by April 8, then you’ll receive a questionnaire in the mail. The last day to complete the census form is July 31.

Click here for a sample questionnaire.

How can I avoid scams?

Scammers will use the census as an opportunity to target vulnerable populations, so it is important to be vigilant. If a census taker comes to the door, be sure to check for a U.S. Census Bureau photo ID badge with a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.

A legitimate census taker will never solicit money or donations, ask you to support a political party, threaten jail time, or ask for sensitive information such as your social security number, bank account or credit card numbers.

KEY RESOURCES

  • US Census Bureau: 2020census.gov
  • IL Count Me In: ilcountmein2020.org
  • TEXT 987-987 in English or Spanish to reach an Illinois Help Desk with information about how to respond to the Census, how info is kept confidential, and other general information.

DID YOU KNOW?

We’re collecting resources specific to populations we serve; keep checking back as we add more information!

CHILDREN UNDER FIVE COUNT

Census Facts About Children Under Five

  • In 2010 the undercount for children under five was about 1 million.
  • Illinois saw about a 3%-4% total undercount with about 11,000 children from within Cook County

SENIORS COUNT
Key Resource: AgeOptions 2020 Census Resources

Seniors will be harder to count in this 2020 Census. For the first time ever, the census will be conducted primarily online, which presents barriers to seniors who may not have access or be comfortable using the internet.

Program Supervisor Loren Buford shares her perspective on the importance of the Census:

“I attended an Advocacy Breakfast in Aurora last month, sponsored by AgeGuide, where local agencies and legislators came together to discuss the issues impacting older adults aging at home, their caregivers and families. The 2020 Census was a big item of discussion.

The information that sticks with me is that for every one person missed by the census, Illinois will lose $1800 per year. So that’s more than $18,000 per year for every person that is not counted. When a budget is passed, it is based on the number of people living in that county.

It is imperative that we make certain every single person is counted, so that all people of all ages, despite economic or health status, will receive the services they need.”

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