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Cook County, Ill., Launches Updated Everyone Counts App

The Cook County 2010-2020 Census Demographics App received a major update today, giving users insight into a range of demographic changes that took place in the county between 2015 and 2020.

Screenshot from Press Conference featuring Cook County officials, from left to right: Tom Lynch, CIO; Denise Barreto, Director of Equity and Inclusion; Kevin Morrison, County Board Commissioner, 15th District; President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board of Commissioners; Todd Schuble, Director of GIS; Britney Harkness, Geographic Information System Developer; and Derrick Thomas, Deputy CIO.
Cook County, Ill., has relaunched its Cook County 2010-2020 Census Demographics App today, this time with a major update.

The county leadership has centered data in equitable decision-making in recent years, a big part of which involved the hiring of a chief data officer, Dessa Gypalo. The county launched its Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot, as well, to help advance equity — particularly racial equity.

The app, which provides information on Cook County based on census tract-level data, is now called Everyone Counts. The app now makes it easier to identify demographic changes that took place between 2015 and 2020 in the county, including age, ancestry, income, education and more.

These updates were formally announced during a Dec. 19 press conference.

The app was created by the Geographic Information Systems Department within the Bureau of Technology as a way for the county to better understand challenges involving poverty and unemployment and to track the changes of those challenges over the past several years, explained Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle during the press conference.

“We did this because it’s important to understand what’s happening on the local level in our communities so that we can see who may need help or if our racial equity efforts are working,” said Preckwinkle.
Screenshot of Everyone Counts, interactive map from Cook County, Ill. displaying demographic data. Map of county is outlined in blue and filled with red and blue circles of differing sizes that represent various data.
The primary difference is that the original version of the app used initial data from the 2020 Census, but new data has been released by Census authorities through the American Community Survey. This additional information is now available through Cook County’s interactive map.

Users can see this new data as it pertains to the whole county, individual county commissioner districts or ZIP codes.

Equity is a big reason for centering data in policymaking, as Director of Equity and Inclusion Denise Barreto explained. She underlined that this map is a big step towards the ultimate goal of prioritizing equity, specifically by spreading ownership of the work to those working in various roles across Cook County government.

“With this information now available to us, we will be able to legislate and form better policymaking decisions with improved precision and accuracy,” stated Kevin Morrison, county board commissioner representing the 15th district and chairman of the Technology and Innovation Committee.

Users can explore data such as whether the number of people residing in an area of the county has increased or decreased from prior years. This information can guide policy decisions, community investment decisions or simply provide a way for residents to learn more about their communities.

And as Preckwinkle noted, not only does it provide information on where to target investments, but it also provides a way to see the impact of those investments.

The map can be accessed via computer or mobile device, and the information is available in both English and Spanish.

“And remember: this app captures a moment in time,” Barreto said. “So, it is important that you come back periodically as the data and features will be appended on a regular basis.”
Julia Edinger is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Toledo and has since worked in publishing and media. She's currently located in Southern California.