FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DETAILS NEIGHBORHOOD BY NEIGHBORHOOD 2010 CENSUS RESPONSE RATES IN FINAL PUSH TO INCREASE PARTICIPATION
Mayor Urges Community News Outlets to Help Carry the Message of the Importance of the Census to the Communities they Cover
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Census Coordinator Stacey Cumberbatch, U.S. Census Bureau Regional Director Tony Farthing and Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Fatima Shama today continued the City’s efforts to get a full and accurate count of all New Yorkers in the 2010 Census by briefing a collection of the City’s community media organizations on the neighborhood by neighborhood response rates to the census, and urging community news outlets to implore their readers, listeners or viewers to return census forms before the April 15th deadline. This morning, the Mayor continued his census radio tour, urging New Yorkers, in multiple languages, to return census forms. As of today, only 48 percent of 2010 Census forms have been returned by City households, compared to 62 percent nationwide. At the briefing with community media outlets, the Mayor provided the response rate for every neighborhood in New York City and highlighted the neighborhoods where census response rates remain low. The City’s Census Office, a new entity created by the Mayor to support Federal efforts, has formed local partnerships across the five boroughs with community organizations, cultural and educational institutions, faith-based organizations, immigrant advocacy groups and others to spread the word that all New Yorkers have something to gain and nothing to fear by filling out the census form, as all information is kept confidential, in accordance with Federal law. The Mayor was joined at the briefing in the Blue Room of City Hall by some of the City’s census partners, including Juana Ponce De Leon of the New York Community Media Alliance, Norman Eng of the New York Immigration Coalition, Imam Souleimane Konate of Masjid AQSA Mosque and the Council of African Imams, Inc., Andy Yu of the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn, Martha Chavez of New Immigrant Community Empowerment, George Hulse of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Esmeralda Simmons of Medgar Evers Center for Law and Social Change, Kian Brown of the Southern Queens Park Association and Ali Najmi of the Seva Immigration Community Advocacy Project.
“We’re entering the stretch run and fewer than half of New York City households have returned their census forms,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “A low response rate could have very serious consequences for our city – for each person who is not counted in the census, the City loses about $3,000 in Federal aid every year, money that could be spent on services our communities all want and need.”
The New York City response rate as of today, by county, is as follows:
The census response rates for all New York City neighborhoods are as follows:
New Yorkers that need assistance filling out a census form can call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov to receive assistance in multiple languages or be directed to one of nearly 1,300 Questionnaire Assistance Centers, operated by the U.S. Census Bureau, open at locations around the city to provide assistance in multiple languages.
More than $25 billion of annual Federal funds are distributed to New York City based on the decennial census, including funding for schools, counter-terrorism and security efforts, and social service organizations. The City will lose approximately $3,000 a year in Federal funding for every New Yorkers that is not counted in the census. Elected representation at the federal and state levels also is determined by census data. In the 2000 Census, the response rate in New York City was 55 percent, well below the national average of 67 percent. In many neighborhoods, like Downtown Flushing, Central Brooklyn or South Jamaica, the response rate was below 40 percent.
The City’s Census Office has been working with community organizations, cultural and educational institutions, faith-based organizations, labor unions, immigrant advocacy groups and others, utilizing each group’s existing networks to distribute information about the census. The key component of the City’s efforts has been informing the public that under federal law, the personal information collected by the census is entirely confidential and cannot be shared with any federal, state, or city agency.
The City’s Census Office has provided thousands of posters and brochures in several languages for display at City offices and conducted workshops with resident associations at New York City Housing Authority facilities, where response rates have been historically low. Working with NYC & Company, the City’s Census Office has also placed 2010 Census bus shelter ads in many hard-to-count neighborhoods throughout the City.
City schools are being encouraged to utilize a “Census in Schools” curriculum, which offers educators an easy way to incorporate information about the census into their lesson plans and teaches students the importance of the census. Additionally, City schools sent a letter to go home with every student last week encouraging parents to fill out their census form and explaining the importance of ensuring every New Yorker is counted.
The City’s census efforts also have included working with the U.S. Census New York Regional Office to identify properties that were not a part of the national mailing list. The Department of City Planning has identified more than 127,000 apartments or homes – nearly 4 percent of all the housing units in the city, counting for approximately 300,000 residents – that were not a part of the planned census form mailing list. Those homes will now be receiving the census form.
The census response rate in New York City has traditionally lagged well behind the national average. The low response rate in the City is due to a combination of factors, including the large population of immigrants, who may have privacy concerns, a fear or mistrust of government or face language barriers.
New York City has the highest percentage of “hard-to-count” residents of any city in the nation. The Census Bureau’s research has identified three main factors that make people “hard to-count”:
New York City’s “hard-to-count” demographic profile also includes:
Since the year 2000, New York City’s population has increased by 4.8 percent. The City’s population stands at 8,392,881 according the July 2009 U.S. Census Bureau estimate.
Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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