Illinois Launches $20 Million Funding Opportunity for 2020 Census

For Immediate Release

August 7, 2019


Meghan Powers

Patrick Laughlin

Illinois Launches $20 Million Funding Opportunity for 2020 Census

IDHS seeks eligible community organizations and local governments to encourage full participation in the 2020 Census in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD/CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced that it has issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to maximize Illinois' success in the 2020 Census. IDHS will award grants to eligible community organizations and local governments to encourage a complete count in the 2020 Census. The deadline for submitted applications is September 6, 2019 at 5:00 pm CT.

"We are committing the largest per-person allocation of any state in the country this year to ensure an accurate and complete count in the 2020 census," said Governor JB Pritzker. "These resources will go directly to outreach and education, ensuring we reach all of our communities and countering attempts by the federal government to force immigrant families into the shadows and ensure an undercount. With our federal funding and representation in congress on the line, this administration is committed to a comprehensive and aggressive effort to ensure all of our residents are counted."

There is a lot at stake. The number of seats Illinois has in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next 10 years will be determined by the census count in 2020. State and local governments will use census data to redraw electoral maps to align with the principle "one person, one vote." Illinois' state legislative maps will be re-drawn, and this will impact the size and make-up of each district in the Illinois General Assembly.

"We're committed to responsibly, quickly, and effectively deploying these financial resources to advance local efforts around the state to maximize Illinois' census count," said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. "This is a critical time for Illinois, and we look forward to identifying qualified grantee partners to reach out to and educate Illinois residents on the importance of being counted."

An undercount of residents could not only diminish Illinois' representation in Congress, but also the state's share of federal funding to ensure critical services and programs for its residents. In 2015, Illinois received over $19 billion, or approximately $1,535 per capita, in funding across sixteen federal programs. The failure to count every Illinois resident will harm Illinois' ability to meet the needs of its residents who benefit from these programs. Even a one-percent undercount would result in the state losing over $19 million per year for a decade, resulting in a total loss of over $195 million.

Illinois' census efforts will focus on populations and geographies deemed "Hard to Count" by the U.S. Census Bureau. "Hard to Count" refers to areas and communities where the response rate in the 2010 decennial census was 73% or less. The competitive funding opportunity will focus on the critical objective of increasing the response rate in these communities to the census and ensuring a complete count of all Illinois' residents.

The new NOFO adheres to all Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) requirements, which exist to protect taxpayers by ensuring accountability and fairness in government grantmaking. IDHS will host a live technical assistance webinar to help interested organizations on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm CT with a subsequent recording posted to Illinois' 2020 Census website:

The 2020 Census NOFO can be found on the 2020 Census website and via this direct link: