September Census Report

The following 2020 Census Office report for September 2019 presents an overview of the Census Office, and updates on the budget, Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), Census Advisory Panel, and resources.

Census Office

On June 20, 2019 Governor Pritzker signed Executive Order 19-10 (EO), which established a new Census Office in the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and a bipartisan, bicameral Census Advisory Panel (Panel) to guide its work. In response to the EO, IDHS released a statewide Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on July 31st to issue grants to eligible community providers and local governments to encourage full participation in the 2020 Census. The EO states that the Governor shall appoint two census Co-Coordinators to direct the Census Office and ensure it achieves the purposes of the EO. IDHS staff, including the Director of Grants Administration, the Chief Accountability Officer and the Assistant Secretary for Programs, guided the drafting work required to publish the NOFO. Marishonta Wilkerson was appointed to co-coordinate the Census Office on August 1st and Oswaldo Alvarez will start as a co-coordinator on September 9th.

Notice of Funding Opportunity

In the State of Illinois Fiscal Year 2020 Budget (Public Act 101-0007 Section 160) the Illinois General Assembly appropriated $29 million of General Revenue Funds for census outreach, education, and mobilization:

"The sum of $29,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Illinois Department of Human Services for grants to community provider and local governments for the purposes of encouraging full participation in the 2020 federal decennial census of population required by Section 141 of Title 13 of the United States Code, particularly in those communities where the State's investment can have the greatest impact in increasing self-reporting, including, but not limited to, those communities estimated by the United State Census Bureau to have been undercounted during the 2010 Census."

To date, the Census Office has neither made any grant expenditures nor distributed funds to organizations. In the NOFO, the Census Office allocated $20,000,000 for the initial grants and reserved the remaining $9,000,000 for an additional round of grant opportunities to address identified needs and communications and marketing efforts.

Merit-Based Review Team: To select RIs that have the capacity to coordinate census outreach efforts throughout their entire region, the Census Office is recruiting individuals to participate on the merit-based review team that reflect the population of the state.


Funding Allocation Method:  The Census Office is using the Illinois Hard-To-Count Index (IL HTC Index) to target and prioritize the hardest to count areas.

The U.S. Census Bureau deems an area HTC if the self-response rate in the 2010 decennial census was 73% or less. The ILHTC Index is comprised of 18 variables commonly associated with low census response including but not limited to age, housing, income, household language, and internet access.

For the purposes of the competitive grant program, Illinois has been divided into 12 regions (see below) and the Census Office anticipates awarding a grant to at least one Regional Intermediary (RI) per region. RIs in each region will be the central coordinators of the census outreach efforts and provide subawards to subgrantees through a "hub and spoke" model. Subgrantees will conduct census outreach efforts in their communities, particularly in areas with HTC populations and geographies.

The Census Office is focused on ensuring that funds reach and are used effectively in every corner of the state. Funding has been allocated to the 12 regions based on two methods:

(1) In regions with counties that have a high HTC Index, the Census Office allocated funds proportionally to the HTC index percentage; and

(2) For regions with counties that do not have a high HTC Index, the Census Office allocated a base level of funding to ensure that each county has the oportunity to benefit. The addendum following this document includes a list of the 12 regions and their component counties, as well as a graph listing the minimum and maximum allocations for each region.

Advisory Panel

The Census Advisory Panel meets monthly. The following is a summary about the meetings held on: June 28th, July 8th, and August 16th.

June 28th: At the first Census Advisory Panel meeting, the Governor's Office and IDHS presented information regarding the EO, the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA), and the Open Meetings Act. IDHS also discussed HTC populations, the grant timeline, and funding allocation strategy.

July 8th: IDHS shared results from a survey it launched to gather insight into stakeholders' ideas, experiences, and anticipated challenges for the 2020 Census NOFO. IDHS also provided an overview about how organizations and local governments could become GATA compliant, which is a requirement for the NOFO application process and the receipt of IDHS grant funds. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Secretary of State's Complete Count Commission gave updates regarding their census work and intention to continue to collaborate with the Illinois/IDHS Census Office.

August 16th: The Governor's Office and IDHS reminded the Panel that the NOFO application deadline is swiftly approaching and asked the Panel to inform the Census Office of any outreach ideas to spread the word about the NOFO, including events or town hall meetings hosted by the panel members. Coordinator Marishonta Wilkerson was introduced, and the Governor's Office explained that there would be an update regarding the second coordinator soon. IDHS gave an overview of the Census Office' webpage analytics and outreach efforts.


To provide technical assistance to potential applicants, IDHS conducted a webinar regarding the NOFO process on August 8th. 325 persons participated in the webinar. Before the NOFO application closes on September 13th at 5:00 pm CST, IDHS will provide an additional technical assistance webinar to help organizations and local governments understand how to become GATA compliant. As with the first, this webinar will air live and become available afterwards on the Census Office's website.

To facilitate questions about the NOFO, IDHS has established an email address: For additional questions and suggestions regarding the Census Office's efforts, IDHS also established a toll-free phone number: 1-844-950-0986.


Regions and Component Counties:

  • Central: Cass, Christian, Green, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, Scott, Shelby
  • Chicago: City of Chicago
  • Collar Counties: DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will
  • Northeast Central: Champaign, Douglas, Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, Vermilion
  • North Central: DeWitt, Fulton, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, Woodford
  • Northern: Boone, DeKalb, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago
  • Northwest: Bureau, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, LaSalle, Mercer, Putnam, Rock Island, Whiteside
  • Southeast Central: Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, Moultrie, Richland
  • Southern: Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson, Union
  • Suburban: Cook County excluding the City of Chicago
  • Southwest Central: Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, St. Clair, Washington
  • West Central: Adams, Brown, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, Warren

Funding Allocation by Region:

Region Minimum Maximum
Central $400,000 $600,000
Chicago $5,000,000 $8,900,000
Collar Counties $1,800,000 $2,200,000
NE Central $500,000 $695,000
North Central $500,000  $650,000
Northern $750,000 $920,000
Northwest  $350,000  $475,000
SE Central  $290,000 $400,000
Southern $600,000  $700,000
Suburban $2,100,000 $3,500,000
SW Central $530,000 $660,000
West Central  $250,000  $300,000
Grand Total  $13,070,000 $20,000,000