Naperville stands alone as special census-taker in 2018
Naperville will be the only Illinois municipality to conduct a special census next year, and the city is seeking 240 workers to take the count.
The U.S. Census Bureau says the deadline has passed for towns to apply to have their population reviewed in 2018 and Naperville was the only community to come forward.
"We definitely think we've had some population growth," city spokeswoman Linda LaCloche said. "So the potential for increasing revenue is something we'd want to take advantage of."
The city plans to count the residents of 58 census blocks, mainly on the northwest and southwest sides, where there's new housing.
If the count increases from the official mark of 141,853, the city stands to receive more money in three taxes distributed based on population: income tax, local use tax and motor fuel tax.
Officials estimate a new census could add 4,650 people, which could bring in an extra $1.6 million before the next count in 2020 takes effect. The count will be the city's seventh special tally since 1990, as its population has grown by 56,502 people -- from 85,351 in 1990 to 141,853 seven years ago.
The city follows at least 27 others that have conducted special censuses since the last decennial census in 2010.
Two towns took counts in 2013, two in 2014, one in 2015 and 11 each year in 2016 and 2017, although a Census Bureau spokeswoman said there may be more that took new counts this year and are still awaiting final totals.
To kick off its latest special census, Naperville paid the Census Bureau $127,000, more than half of the $238,000 estimated cost, said Kasey Evans, a community planner. The remaining $111,000 is set to be paid next year.
The plan is to begin the count in late January. It's expected to take between four and eight weeks, LaCloche said.
So now, it's time to let the hiring begin.
The city is seeking 240 people to fill temporary positions as crew leaders, clerical workers and census-takers, which are known as enumerators. Wages range from $12.51 an hour for clerical workers to $18.51 an hour for one job as a field operations supervisor. Applicants must be available to work 20 hours each week.
The work is detail-oriented and requires following a precise route, said Amy Roth, who worked as a crew leader when Aurora took a special census in 2006.
"You have to follow the formula," she said, "or else you might miss something."
Census-takers will start going door-to-door and asking residents a series of questions.
"Normally people were happy to help," Roth said.
If residents aren't home, census-takers follow up with flyers and by phone.
Candidates to help conduct Naperville's special census should apply in advance of an employment test the Census Bureau will conduct in mid-December, Evans said.
Applications are available at www.naperville.il.us/specialcensus and may be returned to Evans at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville, 60540, or scanned and emailed to email@example.com.
Candidates who are chosen will be invited to a four-day training session beginning Jan. 22 and then given an assignment.