Have You Been Counted Yet?

Census 2020 Graphic. Via the U.S. Census Bureau.

There’s a pandemic! And this means we are all staying at home (or at least we should be). While you could be cooking, cleaning, or catching up on our coronavirus reporting, you could also be filling out the 2020 census!

The census should be arriving in the mail, but if you have access to the internet, you can fill it out online. It doesn’t take that long — it all just depends on how many people are in your household, as you have to fill out the information on each of them. As we have continued to say in our census reporting, filling out the census is extremely important as district lines are redrawn and federal money that goes to various programs such as infrastructure is affected– as it’s based on population.

As we reported back in May, Brooklyn had one of the lowest turnout rates in the entire country at just above 50% participation during the 2010 census, Julie Menin, the director of the NYC Census Office said in a community meeting. Brooklyn was the most challenging borough to count in 2010.

Bklyner reported first-hand analysis in Southern Brooklyn where participation rates crept in at 44% in the first round, in 2010. The final count came in at 62.1% for Ridgites compared to 56.6% in Dyker Heights. Distrust of the government was listed among the reasons why residents didn’t complete the census in those neighborhoods.

According to the 2010 Census, Erasmus, Rugby-Remsen, Williamsburg, Canarsie and Stuyvesant Heights represent the least responsive communities in the nation. More than 46 percent of households in these areas had census mail returned during an initial mailing in 2010, we reported last year. 

The 2020 census will determine how much funding states will receive going into the next decade; an undercount in New York would reduce federal funding for programs like Medicaid and food stamps in the state by billions. Therefore, take out a few minutes of your day in quarantine and fill out the census. And if you already have, bug your family, friends, and neighbors to do the same. Let’s all be counted!

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Zainab Iqbal

Zainab is a staff reporter at Bklyner who sometimes writes poetry in her free time || zainab@bklyner.com

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