QU counts in the 2020 census

By Raven Ash

You play an important role in shaping the future of the Quincy community.

Communities get one opportunity every 10 years to determine how the next decade will play out when it comes to federal funding and government representation.

The 2020 census is just around the corner and participation is being encouraged because it is crucial that every person is counted.

The Constitution mandates that the U.S. conducts a population count every 10 years. The data collected by the census survey is used to determine how the federal government will spend its money in each community and how much representation an area needs at state and federal government levels.

Why should we care?

Federal funding is an essential part of public programs. The data from the census will determine how much money our communities will receive for things like road repairs, school districts, hospitals, and social services.

State population is the key factor in the number of representatives each state is allowed. The 2020 census could change the amount of Illinois representation.

Many students at QU receive federal Pell Grants to assist with the expenses of tuition. Census data determines the amount allotted for these grants.

The data is also used as a tool for large corporations when choosing areas to open their businesses. Students at QU often make complaints about the lack of population based businesses like Target and Chik-fil-a.

Where am I counted?

If you are residing in the Quincy area on April 1, you are counted in the Quincy area. This includes Quincy University students. QU counts! Students who reside in on-campus housing will be accounted for by Christine Tracy Ph.D. Students living at home with their parents will be accounted for in their household. Students living on their own have the responsibility of counting themselves in the 2020 Census. This group is considered an undercounted group.

Other undercounted groups include military living on bases outside of their permanent residences, minority communities, foreign born residents, the homeless population, children under 5 years old, people living in large apartment complexes and people who live in Illinois, but spend winter in areas with warmer climates.

What if I am not counted?

Communities lose money when people chose not to participate in the census survey. According to the City of Quincy’s website, the George Washington Institute for Public Policy’s report “Counting for Dollars 2020” estimates that Illinois lost approximately $952 per person in government funding due to the lack of participation in the 2010 census survey.

According to the City of Quincy’s website, in 2015 alone, Illinois lost $122 million for every one percent of the population not counted in the 2010 Census.

What can I do to help?

Education and awareness are key to ensuring that everyone knows the importance of the upcoming census. You can do your part by encouraging people you know to fill out the census survey by April 1. The survey can be completed online, over the phone or through the mail.

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