The U.S. Census Bureau is urging Illinois residents to respond before the end of the month.
Sherrie Taylor is a senior research specialist at Northern Illinois University's Center for Governmental Studies. She said more than 96% of the people in the state have already sent in a response, but several groups remain elusive.
“There’s a lot of populations that are really difficult to get counted, such as renters, which is really important in the DeKalb area because of the university," she said. "We also have different minority populations that might want to shy away from the census. So we really need to do a lot more outreach yet in order to get that number as high as possible.”
Taylor said census figures are used in many contexts such as federal and state funding over the next decade.
“And then any grants that are given to your local community for perhaps veteran services or folks with disabilities or English language training. Stuff of that nature.”
The current deadline is September 30th, but a court fight is underway to extend it by a month. Taylor says residents should still respond by the current due date. She also notes local census enumerators may visit households if they haven’t responded, or to conduct a quality check on information that was submitted.