Why the 2020 Census Matters

New Yorkers! As you self-quarantine over the next couple of weeks, make sure you fill out and submit your 2020 Census – it is extremely important that you don’t ignore it!


The 2020 Census marks the 24th time the United States has conducted a population census of residents in all 50 states and territories. The Census is not only mandated by the Constitution but it also provides critical data that will determine the amount of support communities receive in funding and other services as well as affecting congressional representation. This year $73 billion in federal funding for New York State will be determined based on census participation.

The last census, conducted in 2010, resulted in a response rate of less than 62% in New York City, much lower than the national average of 76%. Everyone living in the United States, regardless of citizenship, is required to be counted in the census. It is crucial to the city and our communities to get a stronger response rate for this year’s census as an undercount could result in huge funding losses and also potentially losing as many as two seats in the US House of Representatives. The billions of dollars allocated according to the census results provide valuable services such as public education, public housing, highway construction, Medicaid and more. Julie Menin, director of NYC Census 2020, told NBC News: “We are fighting for our fair share of over $650 billion a year that the federal government allocates to cities and states across the country.”

In addition to filling out your census, which can be done in less than five minutes online, you can also volunteer to help the effort in making sure the most New Yorkers are counted. The US Census will pay you to help ensure participation in our local communities.