Since March, the Census Bureau has been mailing out census forms to every household in the country. The census, required by our constitution and conducted every 10 years, is a count of every individual living in the United States. The federal government uses census data to determine critical decisions, including:
How many legislators each state gets in the House of Representatives. Because of recent population loss and a below-average participation rate in the last census (75% in 2010), Illinois has continually lost representation in Congress since 1950, when we had 24 representatives. Today, we have just 18, and 2 more seats are at stake during the 2020 census.
How to allocate billions of dollars for vital programs over the course of the next 10 years. This funding goes towards housing and homelessness programs, SNAP benefits, libraries, road and bridge repairs, energy assistance, Medicare and Medicaid, and much more. For each Illinoisan who doesn’t get counted, we leave as much as $1,800 on the table.
Overall, the census will reshape the financial and political landscape of Illinois so you should be counted too!
To do your part, there are many ways to respond to the Census. The quickest and easiest way is by providing your information online for the 2020 Census. You can also respond by phone by calling 1-844-330-2020 where a representative can help you. Finally, you can respond by filling out and returning the form you received in the mail. After you’ve finished, make sure your friends and family have filled it out, too.
Additionally, responding is safe! Your personal information is kept confidential by law. Your responses can only be used to produce statistics. They cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine your eligibility for government benefits.
Together, we can make sure Illinois gets the investment we need to take care of our communities!