Civics Education Resource Site

Census 2020 Toolkit

The 2020 Census provides K-12 civics classrooms an opportunity to engage in inquiry leading to informed action around issues of power and representation. Schools can be critical partners to help Illinois take an accurate count. Here are some resources you can use to engage your community.

Classroom Resources

IllinoisCivics.org - Lesson Plan: Can Your Community Count on You? explores the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the census and how does it "count" or impact my community?
  • How do numbers + lines = power for my community?
  • What are the challenges to an accurate count in my community?
  • What actions can I take to make sure my community "counts"?

Statistics in Schools: U.S. Census - Free K-12 lessons and activities

Share my Lesson: Census Lessons - Lessons around the 2020 census from organizations like C-Span, Citizens Not Spectators, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Tenement Museum.

Census Brain POP Debate - BrainPOP U.S. Census resources for grades 4-12

Count Me In! - Resources for grades 5-8 from the Los Angeles County Office of Education

Rock the Vote - Informational video and a pledge for students to be counted

Get Counted! - iCivics lesson for students to explore the importance of being informed and how the census impacts their communities.

The Great American Count-Off: The Census, Representation, and Apportionment - e-lesson from the Bill of Rights Institute helps students analyze the important role the Census plays in our political system.

Understanding Census 2020 in Illinois

IL Count Me In 2020 - Resources to inform and engage Illinois communities

Illinois 2020 Census - Official State of Illinois website

Illinois Library Association - Multiple resources to support local libraries and community partners in an accurate count for Census 2020

Forefront's Democracy Initiative - enlists, educates, and trains hundreds of nonprofit leaders and legislators across Illinois to encourage their constituents to participate in the 2020 Census, register and turn out to vote, and remain civically engaged. It consists of two main initiatives: Civic engagement and Census 2020 outreach.

Complete Census Count Critical for Rural Communities in Illinois - IllinoisCivics.org blog post

Census 2020 - The Stakes Couldn't be Higher for Illinois - IllinoisCivics.org blog post

Census Hard to Count Map

What you can do to prevent a census undercount in Illinois - article from City Bureau

Illinois Issues Podcasts - Carbondale's Census Creates Concern (8/15/19), Counting Fear, An Illinois Town Braces for the Census (8/1/19)

Five Charts That Show Who Is Leaving Illinois and Why from WBEZ news uses recent data to get a handle on who is actually leaving the state.

Differential Undercounts in the U.S. Census by William P. O'Hare is an open-access book that provides an overview of which groups have the highest net undercounts and which groups have the higher undercount differentials in the US census.

Community Outreach Materials

Illinois Complete Count - information brochures in multiple languages

U.S. Census Bureau: Race and Ethnicity (PDF)

U.S.Census Bureau: 2020 Census at a Glance

U.S. Census Bureau: Milestones and Timeline

U.S. Census Bureau: Why We Ask Fact Sheet (PDF)

U.S. Census Bureau: Counting Young Children in the 2020 Census (PDF)