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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Less Than Half Of South Lakefront Neighbors Have Completed The Census

The 4th Ward has the highest response rate along the South Lakefront at 45.5 percent — but that's still far below Mayor Lightfoot's 75 percent goal.

The view of the Chicago skyline from the Lakefront Trail at 67th Street and South Shore Drive.
Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
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SOUTH SHORE — If neighborhoods along the south lakefront want adequate funding for essential services like schools, road repairs and hospitals, residents need to fill out their census forms — soon.

Neighborhoods including South Shore, Bronzeville, South Chicago, Calumet Heights, Woodlawn and the East Side are lagging behind the citywide rate of 2020 U.S. Census responses and are far below Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s goal of 75 percent for Chicago, according to the city’s ward-level census results.

The South Lakefront wards’ response rates are:

  • 4th Ward: 45.5 percent, with a goal of 74.4 percent.
  • 5th Ward: 43.8 percent, with a goal of 72.2 percent.
  • 7th Ward: 38.3 percent, with a goal of 68.4 percent.
  • 10th Ward: 44.3 percent, with a goal of 72.8 percent.

Neighboring wards include the 3rd Ward at 45 percent, the 8th Ward at 46.8 percent and the 20th Ward at 33.7 percent.

The state loses about $15,000 in federal funding over 10 years for every uncounted resident, according to Illinois Census Director Oswaldo Alvarez.

The census ensures communities receive proper funding from the federal government for programs and projects such as free school lunches, road repairs, and workforce training programs, among many others, Alvarez said.

That could mean forgoing $195 million annually for each percent point of undercounting, Gov. JB Pritzker said at a press conference in early April.

“Each year the state has gotten about $34 billion just based on our Census count,” Alvarez said. “Just imagine if everyone in the state had been counted 10 years ago.”

Census officials encourage everyone to complete the form as soon as possible and will be sending out postcard reminders through May 9 to those who have not yet responded.

The Census Bureau will not email or text requests to fill out the census. Any emails or texts received are likely scams.

Lightfoot filmed neighborhood-specific PSAs for Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore and 28 other community areas in an effort to encourage participation.

“You all have the beautiful lakeshore and the South Shore Cultural Center, both of which are funded using figures from the census,” Lightfoot said. “Let’s help ourselves bring vital resources to the city by making sure everyone in South Shore takes part in the census.”

The final date to fill out the census online is August 14.

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