Skip to Main Content

Children still count!

Posted: June 9 2020 at 09:12 PM
Author: Rev. Robert Biekman, United Voices for Children Board President

2020census Dollars Sq

The COVID-19 pandemic has made a significant impact on the operational guidelines used by the U.S. Census Bureau. Changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the counting process to protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees have had a tremendous negative impact on already underrepresented and underserved groups. However, through intentional education and mobilization, faith communities can make a significant positive difference in Census return rates.

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of all the people living in the country. Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the information is used for not only determining political representation but for determining how the federal government distributes money to states for health care, education, nutrition, and many other areas. Local governments use census data for determining housing and transportation needs. Businesses use census data to determine where to locate grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, and other retail establishments. It is important that the Census counts every Illinois resident.

The Census brings resources to kids and families in your neighborhood. Let us make sure all communities get a full count and their fair share. See the self-response rate for the Census at

The 2010 Census missed nearly 36,000 Illinois children under the age of five or just over 4% of children in that age range. Nationally, children under the age of five, are one of the most undercounted groups. By researchers’ estimates the 2010 Census failed to account for one million children under the age of five nationally or 4.6% of children in this age group. Nearly one in five Illinois children (or 152,000 children) live in hard-to-count census tracts. When the Census misses those children, it impacts the federal funding for programs serving those children. 

NIC’s United Voices for Children (UVC) is collaborating with Voices for Illinois Children to increase the reach and amplify the voices of both organizations to advocate for children and families through the Census.

In the upcoming months, UVC Policy Coordinator, the Rev. Beverly Dukes will be reaching out to Northern Illinois Conference congregations to share how faith communities can impact U.S. Census outcomes in a positive way. The immediacy of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has taken attention from the 2020 U.S. Census, however, the Census is essential to addressing the root causes of issues in communities hardest hit by the virus. 

To fill out the Census, visit

News & Announcements


Phishing Email Alert

We have been made aware that an email is going around that looks like it's from Bishop Sally Dyck asking for a favor to run an errand for her and asking for a response.

Return Team Graphic 1

New Tighter Restrictions in Illinois

We are all COVID-fatigued after these 7+ months but COVID-19 is not fatigued of us! It continues to rage in our communities. As you know, the Illinois Department of Health and the Governor…


Bishop's Monday Message: Vote!

I voted! Have you? Will you? I want to encourage you now to make sure that you participate in the upcoming election. It is yet another way to make your voice count, just as taking the census was.…

Adobestock 139894205

Youth Ministry Jumpstart Plan

For most people, the “new year” begins in January. But for anyone who works with children and youth, we often think of our “new year” beginning in the fall, when the school year starts up and we b…