Matt Rourke / AP
(The Center Square) – With hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding on the line, Gov. J.B. Pritzker made a stop in Rockford on Thursday to urge Illinoisans to fill out the U.S. Census.
Illinois has nearly a 67 percent response rate for the census, which is ahead of the national average of 62 percent. Rockford is slightly behind the state average, as is Chicago, with a 55 percent response rate. Pritzker said filing out the Census is an act of civic engagement.
“The Census is a demand to be fully heard and fully counted,” Pritzker said. “The Census is another way to get the funds to build the equitable Illinois that we all want.”
Pritzker said that if the state is undercounted by one percent on the Census, it would cost the state more than $195 million a year for the next decade.
Census takers have begun working with administrators at colleges, senior centers, prisons and other facilities that house large groups of people to make sure everyone is counted. In August, Census takers will interview homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census. By March 31, the Census Bureau will send redistricting information to the states. The information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.
“The census is not just about putting numbers on paper,” the governor said. “It’s about putting people who represent Illinois in Congress. It’s about delivering resources to our schools, social services and workforce development programs and infrastructure.”
For information go to www.dhs.state.il.us.