Starting on March 12, the Census Bureau will mail 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, 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.
Do your part: fill out the census! Once you receive your invitation in the mail, you can fill out the form online, by phone, or by mail. After you’ve finished, make sure your friends and family have filled it out, too. Together, we can make sure Illinois gets the investment we need to take care of our communities.