The Count Me In initiative, a $1.2 million effort supported by MacArthur and nine other foundations in Illinois, worked to increase participation in the 2010 Census in hard-to-count communities in Chicago and the state. The U.S. Census recently reported that Illinois’ 2010 return rate was higher than in 2000, the last decennial count. Chicago had the second-largest gain among U.S. cities, with an increase of 5 percentage points. In all Illinois communities where the initiative took place, return rates averaged two percentage points above their 2000 rates. Comparable communities that were not part of Count Me In had rates that were, on average, half a point below those in the last census count. The largest philanthropic effort to support census intake in a single state, Count Me In involved 60 nonprofit groups that conducted outreach to Illinois residents in 13 cities about the value of census participation.

Chicago, Community Development, Policy