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Population count officially starts on Wednesday’s Census Day

How many people will be living in your house on April 1?

No, it’s not meant to be a funny April Fool’s question. It’s an important date for all people living in the United States who need to be counted for an accurate 2020 census. It’s estimated to take just five minutes to file the answers.

The census is conducted every 10 years. The first census was conducted in 1790 and counted more than 3 million people. Today the U.S. population is more than 330 million people. Illinois’ population is estimated at 12.6 million.

Homewood and Flossmoor residents should have already received a U.S. Census Bureau form and a reminder postcard about the need to file answers either by mail, phone or online. If you can’t find the form, go to 2020census.gov for direction on how to file your responses.


If you fail to file your data by April 30, the U.S. Census Bureau representative will come to your door asking for answers to the questions.

The census head count will determine how much federal aid Homewood and Flossmoor schools receive for things like school lunches and special education, and what villages will receive for roads, emergency services and other needs. 

The state also distributes aid based on population to agencies, schools, villages and other entities.

And nationally, the census will give Homewood and Flossmoor representation in Congress. Illinois’ declining population will mean a drop of one congressional district after new boundaries are drawn. The state could lose a second member of Congress if Illinois residents are undercounted.

The head of the household is asked to fill out the questionnaire for the census. The census form asks for basic information: 

  • Name of each person in the household.
  • Sex (Male/Female).
  • Date of birth.
  • Race (You can designate a specific race or multiple race makeup).
  • How many people live at the address on the date April 1, 2020.
  • Is the residence a house, apartment, mobile home, and is it owned or rented.

The set of questions asked for each of the other persons in the household includes name, age, sex and race and asks for their relationship to the head of household. It drops questions of about housing.

Filers are also asked to give a phone number that can be used should questions arise on the answers provided.

Derek Michaels of Illinois Action for Children, said counting children is critical to getting them federal assistance through LINK, Medicaid, affordable housing initiatives, early childhood education and emergency services.

A pregnancy doesn’t count, but all children born on or before April 1, 2020, should be counted, he said.

To check the response rate so far, visit www.2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html.

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