McLean County Counts!
It's time for us all to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census.
What is the U.S. Census?
The census is a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every 10 years. It is a count of every person living in the United States. Starting mid-March, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census.
Why is it important for me to complete the Census survey?
There are three main reasons why it is important for everyone to be counted in the U.S. Census:
We only have one shot every 10 years to get the census right. If we don’t, undercounted groups won’t get the appropriate level of funding for programs needed in their neighborhoods, and local leaders and officials won’t have the reliable information they need to make decisions and plan effectively for changing needs.
- The federal government uses census data to determine who should get over billions of dollars in federal funding, which is used for road repair, schools, libraries, healthcare and other public and social services that benefit everyone. For every person that is not counted in the census the state of Illinois loses $15,000 in funding. The Bloomington Public Library also receives state funding based on our local count according to the census. So, if you like your library, take the census!
- Census results determine how many Congress representatives each state should get. The State of Illinois has lost one congressional seat every census since 1940. We are slated to lose up to two representatives this year if we undercount again.
- Communities and business also use census data to make decisions about what services should be located where, such as where to build new grocery stores or which communities need additional schools.
How and when can I respond to the 2020 U.S. Census?
If you live in the United States, you are required by law to complete the 2020 Census. Starting March 12th, you can respond to the census in three ways. The census survey will only 10 minutes to complete.
- Online. The online questionnaire is available in 59 languages. Beginning in March, you will receive an invitation letter in the mail with instructions for responding to the Census online using either a smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you don’t have access to a computer or the internet, please head to your closest library – both Normal Public and Bloomington Public Libraries have computers available for completing the census. Click here watch a tutorial about how to complete the census online
- Phone. The phone questionnaire is available in 13 languages. Go here for a list of census language line phone numbers.
- Paper. The paper form is only available in English and Spanish.
You can skip questions, submit an incomplete census form and still be included in the head count. However, returning a partially filled-out questionnaire may result in a follow-up phone call or visit from a census worker.
Below is the timeline of census activities:
- March 12-20: An invitation to respond to the 2020 Census, with online and telephone responses opening to everyone.
- March 16-24: A reminder letter. If you haven’t yet responded:
- March 26-April 3: A reminder postcard
- April 8-16: A reminder letter and paper questionnaire
- April 20-27: A final reminder postcard before the U.S. Census Bureau follows up in person, up to five times, then visits your neighbors.
Is my information safe?
Yes! Information you submit through the census form (either online, over the phone or on paper) is kept confidential by the U.S. Census Bureau, which is a nonpartisan government agency. Every Census Bureau employee takes an oath to protect your information for life.
The 2020 Census will NOT include a question about citizenship. It is important that you complete the census regardless of your immigration status. Everyone deserves to be counted, and your information will be kept confidential.
The Census Bureau will NOT ask you for any of the following:
- Your Social Security number
- Money or donations
- Anything on behalf of a political party
- Your bank or credit card account numbers
Additionally, please be alert of potential scam phone calls and visitors. Do not give anyone sensitive information, such as your social security number or bank or credit card account numbers. If someone visits your residence to complete a survey, check first for a valid U.S. Census Bureau ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you still have questions about their identity, call 1-800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. Learn more about avoiding fraud and scams