2020 census

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.

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

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%.

Counting Cautiously: The 2020 Census And COVID-19

Apr 16, 2020
Claire Buchanan

This year’s Census is in full swing. Characterized by a pandemic and digital response options, it’s an authentically 2020 experience.

With congressional seats and hundreds of billions of dollars on the line, states and municipalities across the country are pushing to get all their residents counted. Cities and community organizations in northern Illinois had planned in-person events to promote the count, answer questions, and help residents fill out the questionnaire. But those are all on hold now while Illinoisans shelter in place during the COVID-19 outbreak.

On this episode of Statewide, the spread of the coronavirus is dominating the headlines and causing numerous cancellations and other changes.  We'll learn about some of those.  Also, does wearing a mask help?  We'll hear from experts.

And an author of a new book on Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address talks about the importance of that speech and those who were in attendance that day in 1865.  Those stories and more on Statewide.

Spencer Tritt

Postcards for the 2020 Census go out next month. But schools are already using past census data to illustrate trends and teach students the importance of an accurate count.

The census dictates billions of dollars in federal funding. That includes education funding for special ed, after-school and a plethora of other programs.

Connie Kuntz

Rockford-area leaders are trying to get the word out about why an accurate count is so important in the 2020 census.

Ivy Hood is the program manager for the 2020 Regional Census Initiative. She said the decennial census needs to be filled out by every single resident.  "This includes anybody experiencing homelessness, students, people who live in housing authorities, people who live here half the year. Everyone needs to be counted."

U.S. Census Bureau

The Illinois Comptroller’s office is ramping up efforts to educate people about next year’s census.

A big milestone took place this fall with a large payout of money. Deputy Director of External Affairs Kevin Derrig explained.

“We were able to release $1.5 million to 33 different community organizations throughout the state that are going to be the ones really taking the lead in census outreach efforts," he said.

Derrig said Comptroller Susana Mendoza will also be going on the road for outreach efforts.

Illinois is in a precarious position when it comes to the 2020 census. The count determines congressional representation, and the state is at risk for losing up to two seats.

Central and southern Illinois appear most vulnerable to losing a congressional seat, which is why it’s especially important to make sure everyone participates, according to Anita Banerji, director of the Democracy Initiative with Forefront Illinois. The Chicago-based civic engagement nonprofit has been working to ensure an accurate count.

Illinois and the Quad Cities have a lot riding on next year’s census. That was the message Friday in Rock Island from a panel of leaders from education and social service agencies.

Illinois is investing tens of millions of dollars to make sure no one is missed in the 2020 census.

State lawmakers included $29 million in the budget. The majority of the money will go to community groups to educate the public on how the census works and how the government uses the information it collects, according to Sol Flores, a deputy governor leading the census efforts.

She said about 10 percent will be earmarked for radio, television and online ads encouraging census participation. And a small amount will go to the administration of the grants and ad campaign.

The U.S. Census count is less than a year away, and the group tasked with making sure everyone is counted is asking state lawmakers for millions to help in that effort.

If the count on April 1, 2020 reveals that Illinois has lost another 45,000 residents, the state could lose two of its 18 congressional seats, according to an analysis from Election Data Services Inc., a political consulting firm.

Illinois Senators want to make sure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.