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Local News

Census takers going door-to-door in Joliet

A sign on Interstate 80 welcomes travelers to Joliet.
A sign on Interstate 80 welcomes travelers to Joliet.

Census takers are going door-to-door this month, and the city of Joliet is urging people to respond.

Only 68% of Joliet households filled out census surveys as of July, according to a city estimate. In some sections of the city the response rate has been as low as 41%.

Census takers are visiting homes that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census survey.

The city and local agencies have tried to maximize the Census count in large part because of the revenue at stake.

Joliet gets nearly $72 million a year in federal and state revenue based on population, and city officials say each person counted in the census brings in $478.

The response rate in Joliet and throughout Illinois is lower than it was during the last census survey in 2010. City officials emphasized that census takers who visit homes will take precautions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Census takers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines when they visit your home," the city said in a recent news release. "Census takers are hired from your area, and their goal is to help you and everyone in your home be counted in the 2020 Census. If the census taker who visits your home does not speak your language, you may request a return visit from a census taker who does speak your language."

Census takers will leave notices on doors at homes where no one answers to leave information about how to take the survey online, by phone or by mail.

The city noted that census-based revenue dollars help pay for roads, schools, public safety and social service programs.

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