IL surpasses 2010 Census response amid pandemic

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State’s Census response rate seventh nationwide

Information provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services

CHICAGO, Ill. (December 18, 2020) – Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced the results of the 2020 Census in Illinois and celebrated the over 400 nonprofits and organizations that helped Illinois exceed its 2010 self-response rate during the pandemic. Illinois finished seventh nationwide and first among states with over 9M in population size in self-response rates.

Household Census response rates

Illinois Census grantees worked with IDHS get a complete count despite challenges, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With their help, Illinois surpassed the 2010 self-response rate of 70.5 percent, finishing at 71.4 percent. A self-response rate is the percentage of homes known by the U.S. Census Bureau that completed the census survey on their own.

Lansing’s self-response rate was 75.3%. According to Lansing Village Clerk Vivian Payne, the COVID-adjusted goal for Lansing was 75%.

Chicago outperformed most large cities with populations over 2M (Los Angles, Houston, and Philadelphia), with New York City being the only city that outperformed Chicago. Cook County also surpassed its 2010 self-response rate.

Counting amid COVID

“In 2019, we committed one of the largest per-person allocations of funding of any state in the country to ensure an accurate and complete count in the 2020 Census,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “A total of $48.4M went directly to outreach and education to ensure the voices of residents from all of Illinois’ diverse communities were heard. Despite efforts by the federal government to halt the count, by partnering with local organizations across the state, we led an aggressive effort to ensure as many residents as possible were counted.”

“I’m extremely proud and thankful for all of the IDHS staff and partners across Illinois who helped in our efforts to achieve a complete and accurate count in the 2020 Census,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that limited direct interaction with residents at their front doors, competing messages from the Trump Administration that dissuaded people from participating in the Census, and having to redo agreements with our grantees because of the ever changing deadlines, we had excellent results. It was so important for us to have a complete and accurate count so that all of our residents, including immigrants, are represented and have the resources they need.”

In total, IDHS funded 31 Regional Intermediaries, who in turn funded over 400 nonprofits and municipal governments in Illinois. A statewide marketing plan focused on hard-to-count zip codes and tallied over 450M views across multilingual media outlets. IDHS also funded sister agencies in the Illinois Departments of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Agriculture, Aging, and Veterans’ Affairs. They each helped to distribute promotional material, including Census branded face masks, and other important resources.

For more information about the 2020 Census and the final numbers, visit the Illinois Census 2020 Homepage.