Half a million Chicago households have not responded to 2020 Census

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With September 30 deadline approaching nearly 184,400 households in Black wards have not submitted responses

By Erick Johnson

Nearly 184,000 households in Chicago’s predominately Black wards have not responded to the 2020 Census with a little more than a month remaining before the September 30 deadline, according to data from the city’s ward reports.

Among Chicago’s three biggest racial groups, the city’s 18 predominately Black wards have the lowest response rate with 52.33 percent of 386,861 households submitting their 2020 Census count. Some 184,399 households in Black wards have yet to submit their census response.

Chicago’s 14 Hispanic wards had an overall 53.09 percent response rate, but 120,644 households have not responded to the 2020 Census.

White wards have the highest response rate of three racial groups. The overall response rates in Chicago’s 18 predominately white wards is 63.45 percent, but 193,010 households have yet to submit their 2020 Census form.

Of the 1,172,202 households in all of Chicago’s 50 wards, 57.51 percent have responded to the 2020 Census, but 498,053 households have not.

Among the Black wards, the 18th ward has the highest response rate with 68.8 percent. Of the 18 Black wards, 10 have a response rate of over 50 percent and two have a response rate of over 60 percent.

With nearly a month before the deadline, eight predominately Black wards have response rates below 50 percent. The 24th Ward has the lowest response rate with 41.1 percent of 15,830 households submitting their 2020 Census.

Among the 14 Hispanic wards, 11 have response rates over 50 percent and two have response rates over 60 percent. Three Hispanic wards have response rates lower than 50 percent.

Nationwide, more than 93 million households have responded to the 2020 Census. Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau began following up with households nationwide that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. Based on the current self-response rate of 63.3 percent, the Census Bureau estimates it will need to visit about 56 million addresses to collect responses in person. Up to 500,000 census takers across the country will go door to door to assist people in responding to the 2020 Census.

By comparison, all 18 of Chicago’s predominately white wards have response rates over 50 percent. Fourteen have response rates over 60 percent and three wards have response rates of over 70 percent.

The census helps to shape decisions about how federal funds are disbursed to communities for housing, healthcare, roads, schools, hospitals, emergency services and other programs.

More specifically, the federal government’s distribution of more than $675 million annually to communities is determined by the number of residents counted through the census. Thus, an accurate census count is extremely important for the best financial distribution to local government.

In December, the Census Bureau will deliver the apportionment count to the President and Congress as required by law. By March 31, the Census Bureau sent redistricting counts to the states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.

Black leaders across the country have expressed concern that minorities in hard-to-count areas will be left out and not represented in the final census count.

Residents will have three ways they can respond to the 2020 Census—online, by mail or by phone.

To respond online, go to my2020- Census.gov.

To respond by phone call 1-844-330-2020.

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