Census 2020: Everybody Counts!

What is the census?

The census is a mandate in our Constitution that requires a headcount every 10 years of everyone who lives in the United States. The results from the Census are used to determine a lot of very important things about the next decade, like projects within your community, funding for your state, legislative districts, and funding for national organizations that help people.

Census questions include things like the number of people living in your home and the age of each person in the household. The census will not ask about immigration or citizenship status. Census responses are confidential and protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Individual results cannot be shared with ICE, immigration, police, or other government agency. Your answers cannot be used against you and cannot be used to get anyone in trouble.

Why should I complete the census?

Because you live in Addison. Completing the census helps to:

  • Plan and budget for community improvements or design future community services that benefit Addison residents
  • Attract new businesses that bring more jobs to the community
  • Draw accurate school districts and legislative districts
  • Create accurate public safety and emergency preparedness plans
  • Determine the community’s needs for things like housing assistance, rehabilitation loans, and facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly, and children

Because you live in Illinois. Undercounting Illinois residents means:

  • Less funding for Illinois roads, schools, hospitals, and more public programs: Illinois stands to lose about $1,400 per year for every person who goes uncounted. An estimated $1.2 billion is at stake.
  • Loss of voting power at a national level: Illinois lost one seat in the House of Representatives after the 2010 census; in 2020, we are at risk of losing one or even two seats if we are undercounted again.

Because you live in the United States. Completing the census means programs like these, which help people who need it most, get the right level of federal funding:

  • National School Lunch Program
  • SNAP
  • Medicaid,
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Programs that help low-income households and people who are housing-insecure

How do I complete the census?

Your residence should receive an invitation to participate in the census by April 1, 2020. Once the invitation arrives, you can choose to reply by mail or complete the census online or by phone. It takes just a few minutes to complete! If you haven’t responded by May, census takers will visit your home to make sure everyone is counted. Here's an approximate timeline of what to expect:

  • Mar. 12-20: Receive an invitation to respond to the Census
  • Mar. 16-24: Receive a reminder letter
  • Mar. 26-Apr. 3: Receive a reminder postcard
  • Apr. 8-16: Receive a reminder and a paper questionnaire
  • Apr. 20-27: Final reminder postcard
  • May-July 2020: In-person visits begin if households have not responded to the Census.

When you complete the Census, count everyone who is living in your residence as of April 1, 2020. This includes children under age 5 and people who may sleep at another residence for part of the year.

If you need help completing the Census, library staff can help you complete it online using our computers. Come visit us!

Want to work for the Census Bureau?

The Census Bureau is currently hiring in DuPage County. Visit the Census 2020 website for more information or contact Heather Scott at 708.257.8378 or heather.l.scott@2020census.gov.