State of Illinois Census and Data Collaboration
The State of Illinois wants to ensure its population counts and estimates are accurate.
To make sure that the 2020 Census counts are accurate, the US Census Bureau is running a Post-Census Group Quarters Review challenge program. The program allows governmental entities across the United States to submit for review group quarters population counts they believe may have been enumerated incorrectly or missed. The State of Illinois experienced significant environmental challenges to enumeration during the 2020 Census, including the COVID-19 pandemic and unrest related to protests. The State wants to make sure that the enumeration of their Group Quarters population is as accurate as possible given these events.
NORC’s expertise with administrative records helps the State of Illinois ensure an accurate population count.
In preparation for the State of Illinois's response to the Post-Census Group Quarters Review challenge program, the NORC team acquired, cleaned, harmonized, and geocoded information about facilities in the State that meet Census Bureau definitions of group quarters (such as nursing homes, dorms, and residential treatment centers). Methodological experts created a frame and identified gaps between it and Census records. A vetting team verified facilities that potentially have been undercounted.
For the Population Estimates challenge program, NORC methodologists are evaluating the Census Bureau methodology for estimating the 2022 Illinois population. Using multiple data sources, NORC is developing alternative methods to estimate the State’s population and will recommend the best method for the State. In addition, through this partnership NORC’s demographic, statistical, and data science experts are providing ongoing technical consultation to the State as it prepares for the 2030 Census. Early planning activities may include enhancement of the methodology used for population estimation, establishment of a master housing unit database, data harmonization, and dissemination.
An accurate population count advances the State of Illinois’s equity efforts.
NORC identified several hundred group quarters facilities that may have been missed during the 2020 decennial census. These facilities will be validated and a final list submitted to the Census Bureau for review. Accuracy of the decennial census count is imperative because the State relies on census data at every level of planning and policy-making. The project is also directly aligned with the State’s efforts to advance equity in how it provides services and resources to residents.