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The 2020 U.S. Census - Be Counted!

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

by Krupa Patel, CCPRD Project Associate

Have you filled out the 2020 U.S. Census yet? 

You still have time. The extended deadline to submit is Wednesday, September 30th. Click here to take the U.S. Census online today or text "Census questions" to 987-987 on your cellphone. Ten questions, ten minutes.

It is as essential as it has always been to get an accurate count of people in the United States. Since the first decennial Census in 1790, data from the survey has been used to paint a picture of who is living in our communities and how to best support them. Census data impacts everyone in our society. The numbers tell stories of who we are, where we have been, and where we are going as a nation.

Generally speaking, we use Census data to: 

  • Distribute billions of federal dollars into vital social service programming; this is how tax dollars are directly invested back into community members' hands. One example is funding for free or reduced meals at public schools. Learn more.

  • Update electoral districts to represent population growth and movement. Electoral districts are administrative subdivisions of each state that are represented by elected officials. An example of this could be your local district, such as the 56th district in Illinois, which includes all or parts of Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Roselle, Hoffman Estates, Hanover Park, Rolling Meadows, and Bloomingdale and is represented by Representative Michelle Mussman. Learn more.

  • Help business owners decide where to open and expand their businesses, creating jobs for the community. An example of this includes Subway deciding to open a franchise in a mid-sized suburb that hosts a community college to reach students and families residing near the college. Learn more.

  • Guide community agencies and advocates on who is residing in their communities to tailor funding and programming more strategically. An example of this can include a local mental health agency applying for more family-centric grants to meet the growing number of families living in their service area. Learn more.

Census data is used to provide funding for numerous public resources such as healthcare (Medicare, Medicaid, and disabilities), public transportation (highways, buses, and subways), education (free or reduced meals, student loans, career, and vocational training), workforce development, emergency responders, and services for young children (WIC and foster care grants). In one way or another, everyone in the United States has a stake in ensuring that the Census accurately represents their communities. 

Illinois received over $60 billion dollars in federal funding just from the 2010 Census alone. This year, Illinois is at a risk of an significant undercount, especially in many communities of color in both Chicago and the suburbs. We encourage everyone to fill out the 2020 Census before the extended deadline of Wednesday, September 30th. Since the Census occurs only every ten years, it is imperative to be counted today.

Take the U.S. Census online today. It is available in multiple languages, including Spanish, Polish, Urdu, Arabic, and more. 

How does the U.S. Census impact LGBTQ+ individuals? Watch our series with Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrisson to learn more:

- Part 1

- Part 2

- Part 3

- Part 4

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