2020 Census Watch: 100 days left to do your part!

Census Week of Action


100 Days Left to Complete the Census

The 2020 Census count will conclude on October 31—that’s less than 100 days to make sure each and every New Yorker is counted. The national self-response rate is hovering around 62%, but in New York City, only 53.8% of households have responded. Within NYC, Brooklyn (Kings County) has the lowest self-response rate at 51.3%.

The Census Bureau will launch its non-response follow-up (NRFU) operation in early August. It is more important than ever to increase self-response. When people do not respond to the census taker visit, enumerators may solicit responses from a proxy source (neighbors), and the Bureau will have to rely more on administrative records (Social Security, IRS records), and the creation of data through statistical means, none of which truly reflects the diversity of our neighborhoods. When fewer people are missed, Brooklyn has a better shot at its fair share of services and political representation.

Areas of Brooklyn with the lowest self-response rates include: Brighton & Manhattan Beach (36.0%); Sunset Park – 8th Ave. (36.7%); Homecrest – Ocean Pkwy (36.8%); South Williamsburg – Lee and Park Ave. (39.4%); Borough Park – 13th Ave. & 60th St. (39.8%); East New York – Cypress Hills (41.1%); East Flatbush – Church and Remsem Ave. (43.3%); Bed-Stuy Bushwick East (43.3%); Canarsie – Paerdegat Basin (43.5%); Flatbush and Nostrand Ave. (44.7%).

With NYC’s cautious reopening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the physical presence of community organizations and other trusted voices can make all the difference in boosting self-response. We need your help!

What can you do?

Share resources about the census in your community. Fill out this form from New York Counts to receive printed materials for free.

Join the Brooklyn Complete Count Committee to be connected with a network of organizations working to get out the count.

Help the U.S. Census Bureau complete enumerator training by donating space.

Track Brooklyn’s response rate in real time using the interactive Hard To Count map.

And most of all, don’t forget to complete the census! You can respond online, by phone, by mail or with a census taker at your door.

Join NYC’s Week of Action

Census Job Opportunity

NYC Census is hiring to help get out the count. Learn more about how to apply to be a Census Canvasser and Census Team Leader.

2020 Census at BPL

2020 Census at the Library

On July 13, six Brooklyn Public Library branches and Central Library opened for the first time since mid-March, offering “grab-and-go” services (hold pick-ups and returns). The Library plans a gradual phased reopening in the coming months. Computer use and public programming will not return for some time, making plans for census outreach even more difficult. Yet the BPL’s Census Navigator team has been working hard to spread the word:

  • Look for U.S. Census Bureau tabling outside BPL’s lobby sites
  • The Library has sponsored Census advertising via community postering, direct mailers, LinkNYC, and placements in healthcare waiting rooms.
  • Virtual programming like our multilingual storytimes engage families to be counted
  • BPL’s Teen Census Corps is building a social media outreach empire via their Teen Census Panel, Stories by Census and the hashtag #countmeBKLYN
  • Get assistance with your 2020 Census form live with a BPL Census Navigator via Zoom.
  • NYC Libraries + Planned Parenthood of Greater New York are teaming up for a census social media sweepstakes, to launch August 3!

Visit us online to see BPL’s upcoming census events and to learn how you can help Get Out the Count in Brooklyn, too.

Learn more


2020 Census in NYC

Does your organization have upcoming Census events planned? Email Iman Powe-Maynard, BPL’s Civic Engagement Manager at ipowe-maynard@bklynlibrary.org to have your event included in a future newsletter.

Weekly Census Help Live!
Wednesdays & Fridays through August

Get live assistance with your 2020 Census form from a BPL Census Navigator via Zoom. Participants will receive up to 20 minutes of support and guidance in English or Spanish. See all available spots and register here.

Census Storytime (Yiddish)
Tuesday, August 4 / 11 am
Virtual Program

The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be read af yidish! This storytime is designed to spread an awareness of the importance of counting everybody in our home for the 2020 Census.

After Census 2020: New Yorkers, Redistricting and Political Power
Tuesday, August 11 / 6 pm
Virtual Program

What happens after the count? Learn more from Jeffrey M. Wice, census expert and Adjunct Professor/Senior Fellow at the New York Law School.

How Census Data Helps Businesses, the Community & Local Government
Tuesday, August 18 / 6 pm
Virtual Program

Juan Vasquez, Support Specialist for the SimplyAnalytics team, will present a brief overview and history of the Census, and demonstrate how census data helps businesses, the community and local governments.


2020 Census Resources

Here are some recently-released updates, toolkits and useful resources from state, local and federal partners.

What to Expect: Census Takers in Your Neighborhood

July Updates for the Census 2020 Hard to Count Map

Census Bureau Launches Mobile Questionnaire Assistance; List of Public MQA Events Across the Region

Counties and Major Cities Are Competing to See Who Can Push a Major Percentage Point Increase in Self-Response Rates During Census PUSH Week (July 27 to August 2)

NYC Is Facing a Census Emergency

Why a Complete Count Is Essential for NYC (House Oversight Committee Report)

Stacey Abrams & America Ferrera: The 2020 Census Is a Way to Take Back Our power

Our Voices. Our Votes. Our Time. 2020 Census Town Hall with Stacey Abrams

With No Final Say, Trump Wants to Change Who Counts for Dividing Up Congress’ Seats

Trump Orders Undocumented Immigrants Excluded from Key Census Count

How Youth Engagement Strategies Can Help Get Out the Count

Interfaith Census Coalition: NYC Faith Leaders Toolkit

Brooklyn Complete Count Committee BLM Statement

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Calls on the “Census Cowboy” to Help Improve Response Rates


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