CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - SIU visiting professor John Jackson says that next years census will be an important event for the State of Illinois.
According to Jackson, it is very important for everyone in the state to make sure and fill out their census ballot or the state could possibly lose up to two congressional seats and it could lose up to $1 billion in funds on programs dependent on population in the state.
Jackson said that if two seats are lost due to the census count that there is a high chance that a congressperson that represents southern Illinois would be lost.
Jackson said that the potential $1 billion that could be lost would effect those that need it most in the lower income communities.
Jackson said that it may be more difficult to get an accurate population count in the upcoming census because the census bureau will be asking to fill out forms online, and not everyone may have access to the Internet.
He is urging everyone to make sure and fill out a census form and for college students who live in the state during the school semesters to also fill out the forms.
Since 2010, the state of Illinois has lost around 100,000 of its residents, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“It effects and reduces our political power, particularly in Washington, but just as importantly those monies that from Washington, paying your taxes you get back money for all kinds of programs, those are driven by population numbers so you lose population you lose money,” Jackson said.