New Yorkers urged to complete U.S. Census in spite of coronavirus outbreak

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Since many New Yorkers are now social distancing at home amid the coronavirus crisis, they’ve got plenty of time to complete their 2020 U.S. Census forms, according to the Citizens Union.

The nonprofit good government group’s executive director, Betsy Gotbaum, reminded New Yorkers of the importance of completing the U.S. Census to ensure the most accurate count possible. The population total tallied from the census determines factors such as each state’s political representation and amount of federal funding they are eligible to receive.

“As New York and the entire world deal with an unprecedented situation, Citizens Union encourages all New Yorkers to take all necessary precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus. One way you can help your community while practicing social distancing is by checking your mailbox, and following the instructions to fill out your census form online or over the phone,” said Gotbaum. “While people are at home spending time with their families and roommates, there has never been a better time to fill out the census.” 

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau began mailing information to households across the country informing them of the different ways they can respond to the national population count. The final tally will determine federal funding rates and the number of congressional seats and electoral college votes each state will receive over the next 10 years.

Gotbaum said the ongoing pandemic underscores the U.S. Census’ importance, as an accurate count would ensure that New York state receives the most federal assistance possible for local hospitals, as it determines the number of hospital beds communities require.

Those responding to the U.S. Census should include any living person in their household, including preschool-aged children and newborn babies born on or after April 1.

“While the coronavirus outbreak merits a serious response from all levels of government, it is important that we not lose sight of how critical the census is to our city and state. We need all New Yorkers to be counted to ensure that we get our fair share of federal funding,” Gotbaum added. “Young children are one of the most undercounted groups when it comes to the census, so please make sure you count all people in your household when completing your form.”

For more information, visit 2020census.gov or citizensunion.org.