The 2020 Census, What’s at Stake

Beginning in March the U.S. Census will invite households across the country to participate in the 2020 Census. But what is the Census? Simply put it is a headcount of every person living in the United States. With nearly 40 percent of the state’s population residing in Cook County, the impact and stakes could not be greater if our residents are not counted accurately. Cook County is committed to ensuring a complete count with the 2020 Census.

Households will be invited to participate in the 2020 Census, with options for responding including online, mail or phone.

What is the Census and why is it important?

The Census counts our population and households, providing the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states, counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.

Homes across the country will soon begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Obtaining a complete and accurate Census count impacts every individual and community in Cook County. The data is used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities in areas such as transportation, health care and affordable housing. Additionally, an accurate census helps ensure fair representation at all levels of government – congressional districts, commissioner districts and wards.

Hard-to-Count (HTC) communities are those in which less than 73% of the population completed the Census in 2010 and include those living in historically underserved and ethnic communities, those with language barriers, transient living conditions, immigrant populations, and those who have a distrust of government.  Cook County has a special focus on HTC populations and wants everyone to #StandUpandBeCounted.

It takes a Village to reach everyone about the 2020 Census.  Cook County is working with local municipalities and community-based organizations on education, outreach and assistance efforts around the Census. Learn more about these organizations and how they reach will reach those most hard-to-count populations.

A Celebration of Black LGBT Business Excellence

Join Cook County Census Ambassador Vince Williams at the Currency Exchange Café on February 22, when the LGBT Chamber of Commerce celebrates Chicago’s Black LGBT business owners and artists. This event will include networking, light bites, cash bar, raffle prizes, and a panel discussion.

The panel will feature Black LGBT business owners sharing stories about their business experience. Williams will discuss the impact of the Census on LGBT population on March 8 when he is a guest on Straight Talk Radio with Rev. Mitchell L. Johnson, JD.  The Show airs Live on WVON Radio at 7 p.m. 

Keeping Your Information Private

By law, the Census Bureau must keep your identification information and responses confidential meaning your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics, they cannot be used against you in any way and all responses to the U.S. Census Bureau are kept confidential. 

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