Make Us Count!
Sign the Pledge.
Every 10 years, the federal government is required to count every person living in the country. Political representation, economic investment and government funding for our communities all rely heavily on 2020 Census data. Making sure the 2020 Census count is fair and accurate is crucial, because the results will impact us all for the next decade.
For the first time ever, the 2020 Census can be completed online, by phone or by mail. Sign the pledge to be counted and let’s work together to promote inclusion, visibility and full participation by all who live here.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What does Census data do?
Census data is the basis for equal political representation under the United States Constitution and directly determines the number of New York representatives in the U.S. Congress. Census data also determines how much funding each state gets for critical social programs that protect, promote and represent vital community needs.
Based on Census data, New York State received about 73 billion dollars in federal funding in 2016. This helped ensure that LGBTQ people, for example, were able to access public services they disproportionately need and use, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid and public housing.
What is a Census undercount?
An undercount means that the data collected by the Census Bureau does not accurately reflect the total population.
Communities who have been historically undercounted are Black and Latinx people, LGBTQ people, immigrants, renters, low- or no-income people and people experiencing homelessness.
More than 7 million New Yorkers live in hard-to-count areas—that’s about 36 percent of the state population. It’s estimated that 16 million people were either not counted or miscounted in the 2010 Census.
How does the Census affect democracy?
As a result of the 2010 Census, 12 of the 435 congressional seats shifted throughout the country. Populations that are overcounted are apportioned more political power than undercounted populations, so their interests are better represented.
A 2018 study from Election Data Services found that New York could lose two congressional seats if an undercount occurs in 2020.
Does the Census count LGBTQ people?
While the Census does not explicitly ask questions about sexual orientation or gender identity, we know that LGBTQ people exist within all the different populations that are undercounted and underserved—including people of color, immigrants, people who are experiencing homelessness, people living in rural areas and people with low or no income.
An inaccurate Census count would mean that diverse sectors of our community are deprived of political power, access to much-needed resources and economic investment. This would make it even harder to advocate for more LGBTQ-inclusive and affirming Census questions in the future.
Are your responses to the Census confidential?
While many communities have experienced heightened fear due to misinformation and exclusionary rhetoric, there are several laws that protect the confidentiality of Census data.
The Census Bureau cannot disclose responses in any way that would personally identify a respondent, and data collected cannot be used for any non-statistical purpose, such as revealing an individual’s immigration status or other law enforcement.