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From the President: Be counted - the 2020 census


Dr. Esteban discusses importance of census
On March 3, Dr. Esteban (right) discussed the importance of participating in the census during the College of Communication's information tabling session, hosted by students Adriana Talavera (left) and Abigail Barbeau. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau makes an effort to get an accurate count of every single person living in the country. Census data is used to support community initiatives for the upcoming decade including many that will affect DePaul. I invite you to not only answer the census, but also to act as ambassadors and communicate the importance of an accurate count to your own community.

In a year as momentous as 2020, it is especially important to pay attention to the census. Illinois is currently at risk for an undercount, and if we do not make it our responsibility to participate and educate others to get counted, our very own community will be negatively affected. 

The U.S. Department of Education has stated the 2020 census count is critical for the allocations of federally-funded programs, including those in higher education. Data gathered from the responses help allocate $675 billion in federal funding yearly. What this means for Chicago and our DePaul community is that each person’s response equals nearly $1,400 for our city. The funding dollars go to programs in our neighborhoods that include healthcare and schools, as well as the resources made available to students by the state of Illinois.

Beginning March 12, every household in the United States will receive a paper survey in the mail from the U.S. Census Bureau that will include important information on how to respond to the 2020 census. This year, for the first time, you can respond to the census by using an online option or by telephone, in addition to the standard practice of using mail.

Please note students living on campus will not receive a request to respond to the census. The university is responsible for counting students who are living in on-campus housing and will work directly with the U.S. Census Bureau in doing so. 
For everyone who is not living on campus, all households will receive a letter to participate by April 1, a date that is declared official Census Day. 

At DePaul we take pride in having a diverse community of students from all over the state, country and the world. Those of us who have our roots in other areas but call Chicago home, please know the importance of counting where you live, not where you are from, in order for the community where you reside to benefit. 

I encourage our DePaul community to be present and proactive with the census in order to achieve an accurate count. Be counted. 

More information on the upcoming 2020 census can be found on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website and at DePaul’s student-led campaign, Make Your Community Count​.