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From 2017 to 2020, Forefront and a diverse group of partners came together to engage a broad coalition of social impact sector organizations with the goal of ensuring a fair count for Illinois in the 2020 Census. Illinois saw an increase in Census participation from 2010 to 2020 and achieved the highest self-response rate of the ten most populous states in the country.

Our report, IL Count Me In 2020 Executive Summary and Recommendations for 2030, shares our initial findings, the challenges our state faced in receiving an accurate count, and recommendations for a successful 2030 Census count and beyond. Download the report here.

What is the Census?

Every 10 years, the United States counts the people in this country. We call this process the Census. Everyone counts – babies, children, teens, adults, older adults.

Why does the Census matter to me?

Illinois receives $20 billion in federal funding through U.S. Census data. This funding is important as it supports vital programs such as Medicaid, highways, and programs that help low-income households, rural communities, and communities of color. If Illinoisans were not counted during the 2020 Census, fewer resources would come to the state.

Illinois was also at risk of losing two congressional seats in the 2020 Census, which would have had serious political ramifications. Thanks to the work of the ILCMI 2020 Coalition and its partners across Illinois, the state only lost one seat.

What efforts are happening in Illinois?

Forefront formed the Illinois Count Me In 2020 program, a statewide coalition to do concentrated outreach in hard-to-count communities, provide safe spaces for self-reporting purposes and help educate and canvass for get-out-the-count efforts.

Every state gets one shot, once a decade, to get it right.

This was our opportunity to work together to ensure a fair and accurate count in the 2020 decennial census. This website shares the stories of how we got there.