- 2020 Census Timeline:
- March 8 – Census Phone Assistance lines go live
- March 12 – Census Online Portal goes live
- March 12 – First Census invitations are mailed out (a letter)
- By mid-April, paper questionnaires are mailed out to anyone who has not responded
- In addition to calling the Census Bureau’s hotline for questions, you can also text the word Question or Pledge to 987-987 in Illinois
- As you plan for completion events, remember to reach out the Census Bureau – they may be able to provide information and help.
- If you are in PSA 13, suburban Cook County, let AgeOptions know when your completion events are being held!
Hard to Count (HTC) vs. Historically Undercounted Areas
AgeOptions was recently asked what hard-to-count meant. Here is a definition from the
: “[Hard-to-count] populations are those for whom a real or perceived barrier exists to full and representative inclusion in the data collection process.” There are four main reasons why a group of people are considered hard to count: Hard to locate, hard to contact, hard to persuade, and/or hard to interview.
While the phrase “hard-to-count” is descriptive of a process, when applied to a community, it sounds as if you are saying that a community or population is being difficult. This is not the meaning, but the connotation of that phrase may be demeaning and play into hurtful stereotypes. For this reason, some organizations doing Census work have tried to find a more neutral term such as the phrase “historically undercounted.” You may see us use that term, but because the Census Bureau and the state of Illinois use the phrase “hard-to-count,” we will make note that we are talking about the same thing.
For planning your outreach, it is important to know if your service area has a historical undercounted population (or “hard-to-count” area as the Census Bureau says). Visit our webpage and under Partner Resources, you will find a “Maps” section with maps that can show historical response rates by Census tract.