Mayor Richard M. Daley is urging all Chicago residents who have not already been counted in the 2010 Census to call 311 right away. The U.S. Census Bureau is completing the final phase of its door-to-door non-response follow-up (NRFU) operation, which is the very last step in the Census count. So any resident who has not mailed back a census form or has not been counted in person at their door should call 311 to be transferred to the Census Bureau Telephone Questionnaire Assistance line to be counted over the phone. There are ten short questions to answer. The telephone line will only be available through July 30, so the window of time to be counted in the 2010 Census is almost closed.
“Residents of Chicago who have not already been counted should call 311 immediately because the U.S. Census Bureau’s telephone assistance line will only be available to count residents through the end of July,” stated Mayor Daley.
“Now more than ever before, the Census count is very important because it impacts programs and services that affect the lives of every resident of the City of Chicago for the next ten years. This federal money helps fund critical programs that address a range of needs in our city and in our neighborhoods, including programs for education, public safety, transportation, community development and social services.”
Census data is used to determine the allocation of federal funds for important local programs and services, such as public transportation, school lunch programs, family support programs, senior centers and new construction, such as highways and hospitals. Census data are also used to reapportion seats in Congress and assure proper representation in state and local government.
A complete count of Chicago’s population will maximize the amount of federal funding our city receives. Every year, the federal government distributes more than $400 billion to tribal, state and local governments based on census data. This federal funding is critical for the City of Chicago to continue to provide critical services to residents. Every Chicago resident that is not counted equals a loss of $19,000 over ten years.
Chicago’s census efforts have resulted in an increase in the response rate thusfar, however, the goal is to get as many individuals to be counted before the deadline. The U.S. Census Bureau provided initial mail back participation rates at the end of April, and 63% of Chicago households returned their forms which is a significant increase over the city’s 2000 rate of 58%. The five percentage point increase is the second highest of the top 25 largest cities. The United States’ national rate remained the same as 2000 at 72%.
The U.S. Census Bureau has utilized over 600,000 census takers across the nation to go door-to-door over the last few months, but the counting phase is coming to a close as quality assurance operations including the field verification of vacant addresses is ramping up. This means that census workers will still be going door-to-door to verify address data, but they are slightly different than the original enumerators. For more information about this process, see the Census Bureau’s fact sheet: http://2010.census.gov/news/pdf/qualityassurance_factsheet.pdf or call the Chicago Regional Office at 312.454.2700.
Individuals have until Friday, July 30th at 9 pm to be counted over the phone. To be counted you can, call 311 to be transferred to the U.S. Census Bureau, or call the following Telephone Questionnaire Assistance phone numbers directly: