It’s Census Day: Don’t let Brooklyn get cheated, again!
Throughout March, invitations landed in the mailboxes of residents across the country, reminding people to get counted for the 2020 Census. Now it’s Census Day and everybody should have received their notices.
Local community boards are on a mission to make sure the city is properly represented by the once-a-decade count, because the census determines how $675 billion in federal funding is distributed for things like local infrastructure, housing and transportation. Census data also determines how many congressional representatives an area receives.
The city had a response rate of less than 62 percent in 2010, compared to the national average of 76 percent. As of last week, census workers say the city’s response rate for 2020 is 75 percent higher than it was last time around, despite the pandemic, but it’s still lower than the national or statewide averages.
Brooklyn is the most difficult county in New York state to conduct the census, according to the Brooklyn Community Foundation. About 33 percent of Brooklynites did not respond to their census forms in 2010, causing the borough to have the lowest mail return rate in the country among counties with populations over 500,000.
To avoid another undercount that could bring long lasting economic impacts to the borough, Community Board 2 sent out an email flier first thing on Census Day to remind people to respond to those mailed invitations. Residents can return the questionnaire mailer, or respond by phone or online.
To be clear, today is not a deadline to be counted, but rather a reminder for people to tell the Census Bureau where they live as of April 1, 2020.
Between May 27 and Aug. 14, census takers will visit households that haven’t responded. By December 2020, the bureau will deliver the counts to the president and Congress.
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