What is the US Census?

Also known as the Population and Housing Census, the Decennial U.S. Census is designed to count every resident in the United States. It is mandated by the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The Census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities.

The census tells us who we are and where we are going as a nation, and helps our communities determine where to build everything from schools to supermarkets, and from homes to hospitals. It helps the government decide how to distribute funds and assistance to states and localities. It is also used to draw the lines of legislative districts and reapportion the seats each State holds in Congress.

The decennial Census may not happen again until 2030, but working toward a complete count of all New Yorkers starts now.

How was New York impacted by the 2020 Census?

We’re still learning the ramifications of the 2020 Census count in New York state. We know that we lost political representation in the form of one seat in the US House of Representatives, when we could have reversed this trend by having just 89 more New York residents in our count. We know that in some populations, there were overcounts and in others there were undercounts. This means not all neighborhoods and New York residents are getting equitable funding. We know that we can do better in 2030. So, let’s start laying the groundwork now.

Congressional Seat Lost after the 2020 Census
Responses Away from Maintaining a 27th Congressional Seat
Federal Funding for New York Guided by the Census (as of FY 2016)
Est. Undercount of Latinx New Yorkers
Est. Undercount of Native American New Yorkers
Est. Undercount of Black New Yorkers

How can you get involved now?

There’s a way for all New Yorkers to begin empowering their communities now:

About New York Counts

New York Counts is a broad-based, statewide coalition formed in the lead up to the 2020 Census by the New York Immigration Coalition. Through this coalition, we empowered communities and community-based organizations with “Get Out the Count” education and resources, engaged with local governments and institutions, and supported Complete Count Committees.

Our aim in 2030 as in 2020 is to ensure that all New Yorkers across the state – particularly marginalized communities in historically undercounted and at-risk districts – can fully maximize their participation in each and every decennial Census.

Key Resources

The Leadership Conference Education Fund and Census Counts developed the “Roadmap to the 2030 Census.” Learn how to use the roadmap to navigate a complete count in your New York state community and follow Census Counts for updates on national get out the count efforts.

Join the New York Counts coalition today.

Our goal is to build a broad, diverse coaltion across all of New York State who can begin to form a groundswell of engagement in each and every community around the decennial Census to help ensure a complete count. Joining this coalition is as easy as signing up for updates today so that we can empower you for tomorrow.