Millions at stake in census; be counted

URBANA, Ill. - An accurate census count is important to Illinois. The state could lose two congressional seats based on the population totals informed by the next census. Federal funding for programs including Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), highway planning and construction, section 8 housing vouchers, the national school lunch program, and special education grants are all based on our census counts.

"Illinois stands to lose $1,400 per person, per year for every person who is not counted," said Anne Silvis, University of Illinois Extension assistant dean, community and economic development. "If Illinois misses even one percent of its residents in the 2020 census count, the state will lose $120 million in federal grants every year for the next decade."

About 143 million U.S. households were mailed instructions for completing the census in mid March by the U.S. Census Bureau. Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you’ll receive either an invitation encouraging you to respond online or an invitation along with a paper questionnaire. In areas where 20% or more of the households need assistance with language, the invitations will be in both English and Spanish. Household that did not responded by March 26 will receive reminders.

For fact sheets or more information about the 2020 census, visit IL Count Me In 2020. Households that do not reply by April 27 will be listed for in-person follow up. 

Source: Anne Silvis, assistant dean
University of Illinois Extension