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Funders Help New Yorkers Get Counted in 2010 Census

Explore the outreach activities of the 2010 census grantees with our interactive map above >> Map by CUNY Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research


  • Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice
  • African Refuge  
  • Arab American Association  
  • Boro Park Jewish Community Council  
  • BronxWorks   
  • Brooklyn Congregations United   
  • Center for New York City Affairs  
  • Chhaya Community Development Corporation  
  • Chinese American Planning Council   
  • Cidadao Global   
  • Citizens Committee for New York City  
  • Coalition for the Improvement of Bed-Stuy
  • Coalition for Institutionalized Aged and Disabled      
  • Council of People's Organization   
  • DRUM - Desis Rising Up and Moving   
  • Groundwork  
  • Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House   
  • MinKwon Center for Community Action
  • Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center
  • Mixteca
  • New Immigrant Community Empowerment
  • The New School
  • Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • NY Taxi Workers Alliance
  • NY Voting Rights Consortium
  • NYC Community Media Alliance
  • Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation
  • People's Production House
  • Picture the Homeless
  • Queens Congregations United for Action
  • Red Hook Initiative
  • Southern Queens Park Association
  • United Chinese Association of Brooklyn
  • Vamos Unidos
  • Voces Latinas
  • Yes We Count Coalition
  • Youth Communication

Who was counted?

  • Adult home residents
  • African Americans
  • Arab Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • Bangladeshis
  • Domestic workers
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals
  • Hassidim
  • Immigrants (African, Asian, Brazilian, Caribbean, Latino, South Asian)
  • Korean Americans
  • Latinos
  • Low-income youth
  • Nepali speakers
  • New Yorkers living in shelters or on the street
  • People with HIV/AIDS
  • Substance abusers
  • Public housing residents
  • Taxi drivers
  • Undocumented workers


In 2010, The New York Community Trust, The New York Foundation, and a group of colleagues, gave thirty-seven community organizations a total of $604,500 to hold neighborhood events, post flyers, train staff, advertise in local papers, and carry out other outreach activities. They contacted 365,000 people in 53 neighborhoods. There was a 3% increase in participation rate in the City overall, and a 5% average participation increase in targeted neighborhoods.

Why Does the Census Matter?

Every ten years, the Constitution mandates a complete count of all people living in the United States, regardless of citizenship status. Census numbers are used to assign the number of congressional seats, redraw electoral district lines, and allocate billions in federal and state funding.

Challenges to Getting an Accurate Count

For large and diverse urban areas like New York City, there are serious obstacles to getting an accurate count. Despite laws protecting the privacy and confidentiality of census respondents, many racial and ethnic groups distrust the government and are not fluent in English. Often the general public lacks a basic awareness about the census and its importance.

Census Count Debated

The U.S. Census Bureau’s official New York City census results have been controversial. The Bureau found a population growth of approximately 167,000 people, about 200,000 less than the City’s Planning Department had projected. This was surprising since the City’s overall participation rate increased from 60% to 63%—and was even higher in neighborhoods covered by the Initiative’s grantees. 

But participation rate only measures the return of completed census forms. It does not account for the all-important second phase of the census—the follow-up work done by enumerators to capture households that did not get or mail back the form. Many observers believe that this enumeration phase is the source of a possible undercount, especially in Brooklyn and Queens, which increased by 1.6% and 0.1%, respectively.

Census results also showed unusually high percentages of vacant housing units in immigrant neighborhoods in parts of Brooklyn and Queens. One southwest Brooklyn block was even found to have a 30% vacancy rate, a scenario that seems implausible.

Although the controversy remains unresolved as of this writing (the Planning Department is using various data sources to appeal the census results through administrative channels), it does not lessen the impact of the work done by organizations supported through the 2010 Census Funders NYC Initiative.


  • Ford Foundation
  • The New York Community Trust
  • New York Foundation
  • Open Society Institute
  • Public Interest Projects
  • Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors on behalf of the Durst Foundation
  • Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

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