Why it's important

Outside of voting, one of the most powerful things you can do for your community is to participate in the census. The information gathered is used to make sure everyone is equally represented in our political system and that government resources are allocated fairly.

Census participation impacts the programs and services in our community because the federal government uses the census count to determine how to allocate $675 billion per year in funding to state and local governments. That money goes toward critical programs that support education, housing, health and transportation services in our community. With every person not counted, our community loses out on critical federal funding. The George Washington Institute for Public Policy’s report “Counting for Dollars 2020” estimates that the undercount of Illinoisans in the 2010 Census resulted in a yearly loss of $952 per person of federal funding. In 2015 alone, Illinois lost $122 million for every 1 percent of the population not counted in the 2010 Census. The loss per person from an undercount in the 2020 Census is projected to be even higher.

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