March 10, 2020 - Oak Parkers who take a few minutes to answer a series of simple questions for the U.S. Census Bureau will be helping make sure the community gets its fair share of billions of dollars in federal funds distributed each year.
The results of this once-a-decade count also affect a state’s voice in Congress by determining the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives where most federal funding decisions are made.
How the Census works
Households will begin receiving mail from the Census Bureau in mid-March. This official correspondence will provide detailed information on how to respond online, by phone or by mail.
Residents who do not return the questionnaire by the end of April can expect a visit from a census taker in May through July as efforts focus on making sure the constitutionally mandated count is as accurate as possible.
How Information is used
All information provided to the Census Bureau is for statistical purposes only, and is strictly confidential under federal law.
The 2020 Census asks for name, gender, age and race for each person living in a household. The questionnaire also asks whether you rent or own your home.
The questions are intended to provide a snapshot of our nation — who we are, where we live and much more.
In addition to federal funding, Census data also are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts and help lawmakers, business owners and many others make critical decisions over the next decade.
Local decision-makers use Census data as well. The data help determine future needs for new schools, clinics, roads and other services for families, older adults and children.
For more information
For more information, including an explanation of why each question on the Census form is asked, visit www.2020census.gov.
Information about Oak Park's efforts to ensure a complete count is available on this at www.oak-park.us/census2020.
Local Census help available
Residents who need assistance completing the 2020 Census questionnaire or who want to respond online but lack internet access, have several local locations where computers and personnel can help during regular business hours.
Oak Park Regional Housing Center, 1041 South Blvd.
Oak Park Residence Corporation, 21 South Blvd.
West Cook YMCA, 255 S. Marion St.
Questions about the Census can also be texted to 987987. Representatives with the Illinois Department of Human Reources are standing by to provide answers. Standard message and data rates apply.