The Census and Your Community

By Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census 2020 June 1, 2020

Right now, you have a unique opportunity to help New York City and the lives of families and children across the city. The 2020 Census count is underway, and the outcome could impact your child's education and your community's access to health care.

In 2010, New York City had a mere 62 percent Census self-response rate compared to the nationwide rate of 75.8 percent. This means the city lost out on federal funds for essential services, and we paid the price with overcrowded schools and a lack of funding in emergency services, senior centers, nutrition programs, and so much more.

The Census even determines our representation in government and gives us the data we need to make decisions about our future. Public health officials use census data to determine planning around vaccines. As we emerge from COVID-19, census data will be more important than ever alongside funding. New York City received approximately 780 million dollars in census-derived Title I funds in 2017.

Luckily, filling out the Census has never been easier. If you haven't filled out the Census yet, you can do it online at or by calling (844) 330-2020. It's only about 10 questions, takes less than 10 minutes, and just asks basic questions about your household.

If we're not all counted, we're all affected. An undercount means less money split among more people. Everyone counts in the Census, no matter who you are - we need everyone counted to get the resources we deserve. And YOU can help your community reach a complete count.

Involved with your school's PTA? Remind parents to be counted (and to count everyone in their households). Checking in with your neighbors? Ask if they've filled out their forms. Zoom chats with friends and family? Make it a Census party! You can even volunteer with NYC Census 2020, the City's Census outreach campaign. There are countless ways to make a difference, but ultimately it just comes down to talking about the Census with your friends, family, and neighbors. 

 The Census is a great reminder that even while we're isolated, we're still a community, and we can still come together to shape our future.