Governor J.B Pritzker was in Rockford Thursday to encourage everyone in northern Illinois to take the census.
He announced that Rockford is running a percentage point behind the rest of the state in its census response rate.
Rockford's average response rate is 65.5% compared to 66.9% for the state. And that number ranges within Rockford with some neighborhood neigborhood response rates below 35%.
Belvidere is currently well above the state's response rate with 73.1%.
The governor stressed that an accurate count can mean the difference of millions of dollars in federal funds.
"Just to give you an idea," Pritzker said, "1% undercount for the state of Illinois in 2020 could result in the state losing over $195 million per year. And that adds up over 10 years."
Mustafa Abdall is a local school teacher and census advocate. He said the process only takes six minutes online.
"These six minutes are worth enough to invest in our state and our city in our county," said Abdall.
The census form can be filled out online at 2020census.gov.
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.