(June 5, 2019) NEW YORK – In the face of historic challenges ahead of the 2020 Census, New York’s foundations and nonprofits must step forward to invest in aggressive efforts to ensure those in marginalized, hard-to-reach communities are fully counted, according to a new report issued today.
The report—authored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and underwritten by the New York State Census Equity Fund, housed at The New York Community Trust—identifies 50 communities across the state that are most at risk to be undercounted in 2020, as well as a blueprint for how New York’s foundations and nonprofits can help ensure that these communities get the support they need.
New York State residents already suffer from the impact of undercounts. The Rockefeller Institute found that New York residents pay $35.6 billion more to the federal government than they receive back in federal funding—a negative balance of payment greater than that of any state. With an undercount in 2020, that balance will likely grow even larger.
In addition, New York could lose additional representation in the House of Representatives, meaning that its voice on national issues will be further diminished.
“The threats to New York are very real and the impact of an incomplete count would be devastating to communities across our state,” said Patricia A. Swann, senior program officer for The New York Community Trust. “We have no time to lose. It’s time for foundations, nonprofits, and donors throughout New York to band together to make sure we are able to achieve a fair and complete count.”
New York had one of the lowest response rates in the country during the most recent census in 2010. This low response has been especially acute among some populations—including communities of color, low-income households, immigrants, rural households, and young children.
Given the state’s demographic makeup, the Rockefeller Institute report spotlights two central challenges to New York for the 2020 Census:
Given New York’s history, the report offers a series of recommendations for how the state’s philanthropic community can help support a complete count in the face of these challenges. Recommendations include:
About The New York Community Trust
The New York Community Trust connects past, present, and future generous New Yorkers with vital nonprofits working to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. We are a public grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. For more information, visit us at nycommunitytrust.org.
About The New York State Census Equity Fund
The New York State Census Equity Fund (NYSCEF) was established in 2018 to ensure coverage of the State’s hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census.
The Fund makes grants to support complete census count efforts in neighborhoods, towns, and rural areas across the State with large populations that are at risk of being undercounted.
About The Rockefeller Institute
Created in 1981, The Rockefeller Institute of Government is a public-policy think tank providing cutting-edge, evidence-based policy. Its mission is to improve the capacities of communities, state and local governments, and the federal system to work toward genuine solutions to the nation’s problems. Through rigorous, objective, and accessible analysis and outreach, the Institute gives citizens and governments facts and tools relevant to public decisions. Learn more at www.rockinst.org.