Gotham Gazette

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2020 Census

2020 Census

  • gov cuomo vote

    Governor Cuomo at a Census conference early this year (photo: governor's office)


    After months of relative silence about the ongoing 2020 Census count and with New York at risk of a large and costly undercount, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday re-launched a state effort to urge New Yorkers to fill out the once-a-decade federal questionnaire.

    The COVID-19 pandemic turned the 2020 Census on its head, forcing officials at the city, state, and federal levels to reconsider outreach plans and pivot awareness campaigns. The self-response deadline was extended from

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    The Census count is ongoing, with high stakes (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Representatives Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) and Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) unveiled a report on Monday that shows the potential consequences of New York City being undercounted in the 2020 Census. The report comes as New York City continues to lag behind the nationwide response rate to the decennial questionnaire, although the city has gained ground in recent weeks.

    As of Sunday, the national self-response rate stood at 61%, while New York City was at 52%. However, New

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    New York City Census efforts (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the cost to confront COVID-19 grows each day, a severe fiscal fallout for New York’s state and city budgets becomes more of a certainty. And with steep cuts to government programs all but assured, we New Yorkers cannot overlook the significance of participating in this year’s Census. Consider this: New York’s recovery will depend on federal funding, and each person not counted can cost New York ...

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    2020 Census efforts continue, though NY State is MIA (photo: Governor's Office)


    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York, it posed severe impediments to the 2020 Census process, forcing local, state, and federal officials to suspend plans for on-the-ground outreach to make sure all state residents are counted. But federal and city officials have continued remote operations to encourage a robust self-response to the decennial population count and, as regions across New York State begin to approach a sense of normalcy, the U.S. Census Bureau has resumed

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    Federal aid to New York City is even more urgent than ever (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    While many of our daily activities remain on hold, the 2020 Census must still be taken and completed this year. Not only is it required by the U.S. Constitution, but there is a tremendous amount at stake for New York, including billions of dollars in federal aid, a fair allocation of seats in Congress, and accurate representation in state and local government. From road repairs to education and social services, over 300 federal programs are driven by census data.

    Through my

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    Gov. Cuomo at the NY Census Conference (photo: governor's office)


    According to plans, New York state government would have spent the equivalent of $70 million this year on its effort to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the 2020 Census. But as the state has experienced a devastating coronavirus outbreak, that effort has, for all appearances, never gotten off the ground, and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has done little to inform residents that it is in their best interest and that of the entire state to fill out the Census.

    The

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  • 2020 census new york city

    Coronavirus has shifted Census efforts (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York Public Library had set up dedicated chromebook computers that only connected to the 2020 Census website. The Brooklyn Public Library prepared “mobile units” of internet-connected tablets that could be dispatched to community centers and groups. Outreach employees from the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC) and SOMOS Community Care were starting to canvas areas of upper Manhattan to help passersby understand the benefits of participating

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    Gov. Cuomo at a state census conference in January (photo: Governor's Office)


    Before the coronavirus overwhelmed New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo wanted the equivalent of a $70 million effort to ensure that New Yorkers are accurately counted in this year’s Census. That was to include $10 million just appropriated in the state budget approved this past week. But the plans behind the Cuomo administration’s census campaign remain vague at best and nonexistent at worst as the state struggles to combat the coronavirus outbreak that hit after New York

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    2020 Census website to fill out the questionnaire


    The U.S. Census Bureau faced a behemoth of an undertaking this year: counting each and every resident across the country’s 50 states and various territories. It’s a task that’s carried out every ten years and requires years of planning and untold levels of individual and collective effort, and can still end up being inaccurate. And all that was before the coronavirus pandemic sent the nation into

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    2020 Census Day is here; many New Yorkers have already filled out the Census (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    It’s officially “Census Day” -- April 1 -- and though the decennial population count began two weeks ago, by now virtually all households across the United States should have received some form of notification from the U.S. Census Bureau informing them of the ways they can fill out the demographic questionnaire. Census Day itself is more of a marker, not a deadline, to rally people to fill out the questionnaire and the date at which

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    Census organizing efforts before coronavirus (photo: @JulieMenin)


    Officials at the city, state, and federal levels had for years planned varying efforts to conduct a robust outreach campaign this year for the 2020 Census, to ensure an accurate count of New York’s population that will determine the level of federal funding the state receives and its representation in Congress. But the coronavirus outbreak has upended those plans, which relied heavily on person-to-person contact, especially in the hardest-to-count communities, and officials are beginning to course

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    Efforts continue to get every New Yorker counted in 2020 Census (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City has reached a first-of-its kind agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau to transfer data on the city’s sheltered homeless population in a way that is intended to negate the need for census enumerators to perform their own separate count.

    Through the agreement, which was described to Gotham Gazette by an official from the city’s census office, the city will compile data on the roughly 60,000 people expected to be sheltered at around 650 sites in

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    The 2020 Census begins now (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The 2020 Census process kicks off today -- Thursday March 12 -- as the U.S. Census Bureau began sending out mailers across the country and its territories to inform people about how to fill out the decennial questionnaire, which was also just made available online.

    Every ten years, the Census attempts to collect information on every resident of the United States and its five territories. In all, the Census

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    Muslim New Yorkers in prayer (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As we again learned in 2016 and 2018 that voting matters and elections have consequences, we must also recognize -- ahead of time, right now -- that the 2020 Census matters and not being counted has consequences.

    After 2016, many New Yorkers have been mobilizing to bring progressive voices to elections: from supporting change in Albany and flipping local House seats to turning entire state legislatures blue across the nation and backing chosen presidential

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  • native american comm

    American Indian Community House is working on the 2020 Census (photo: @AICHNYC)


    The decennial Census is an exercise in counting every single resident of the United States of America, but the tragic irony of the process is that it routinely undercounts the very people who first called this continent their home. Native Americans, who now make up about 1% of New York State’s population, worry that it may happen again this year, perpetuating the official apathy to their people that they have come to expect from the federal government.

    About 194,000 New Yorkers

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    New Yorkers prepare for the 2020 Census (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee has received and released the list of the U.S. Census Bureau’s community partners for the 2020 Census, including hundreds of entities in New York. The once-a-decade count of the entire country’s population, mandated by the Constitution, has already begun in Alaska and is due

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    Senator Myrie, Assemblymember Richardson, and volunteers (photo: Vashon Hill Jr.)


    Predominantly black communities often have among the lowest response rates to the U.S. Census, the once-a-decade count of the country’s population mandated by the Constitution. In New York City, those and other hard-to-count groups contributed to an especially low response rate in 2010, which can hurt New York’s ability to bring in federal funding, among other important negative consequences,

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  • salazar census rally

    State Senator Julia Salazar at a Census rally


    The U.S. Census Bureau will soon kick off the 2020 Census count by sending mail to households to inform them about filling out a questionnaire that lists their names, where they live and how many people live with them, their race and ethnicity, and other information. Self-response to the Census yields the most accurate information about households and given that New Yorkers speak more than 200 languages, Brooklyn State Senator Julia Salazar wants to take steps to ensure that as many people are guided toward participation in

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  • census off rally

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing this past week with representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau to examine preparedness for the 2020 Census. Data collection for the Census count has already begun in remote parts of Alaska, some initial mailings will go out mid-March, and the full count officially begins across the country on April 1.

    Exchanges at the Wednesday hearing, along with a report released just before it that informed much of the discussion, raised

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  • rally census partners

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Black communities in New York have historically been more likely to be undercounted by the U.S. Census Bureau, meaning fewer federal resources and political underrepresentation for those who are often the most vulnerable members of the population and those who have often been disenfranchised and discriminated against. It’s a trend that city officials are hoping to counter in this year’s Census, with the help of nonprofit community-based organizations, and grassroots organizers. On Monday, at a

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  • census app

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau undertakes the herculean task of counting the residents of the entire country. The process, which will occur this year, largely relies on people telling the federal government about themselves – who they are, who they live with, their age, their race, for instance -- in a count that has immense influence over how federal funding is allocated and congressional representation, among other things.

    When people don’t respond to the Census questionnaire on their own, the Census

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  • complete count census

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In about eight weeks, the U.S. Census Bureau will officially begin mailing out questionnaires across the country and New York City intends to be prepared. On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio rallied with members of more than 150 community groups at NYU’s Kimmel Center to launch the city’s Complete Count Campaign to educate New Yorkers about the decennial population count and to recruit and train volunteers from hard-to-count communities to amplify those efforts.

    The mayor's administration and

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