Census Response Rates Show NYC Caribbean Populated Counties Lagging Way Behind

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By NAN Staff Writer

NEW YORK, NY, Tues. April 28, 2020: As the covid-19 pandemic continues its assault on New York City, particularly in black and brown communities, another one of the victims of the virus may also be the 2020 US Census, as latest data shows the response rate in counties where Caribbean immigrants live, lagging way behind.

With 79 million nationally or 53.4 percent of Americans completing the Census to date, a NANN news analysis shows New York City’s overall response tally to date ranks at only 37 out of 62 counties in the state.

For counties that are predominantly home to many Caribbean immigrants in the Big Apple, the rank is even lower. As Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx lead with the greatest number of coronavirus cases to date, according to New York City government official data, and as Blacks and Hispanics continue to die from the virus, the census response rate so far remains extremely poor, according to the Census’ latest data.

In the Bronx, the Census response rate so far is 43.8 percent for the state, putting it at a rank of 38 out of 62 counties. Queens county has almost a 42 percent response rate, ranking at 42 out of 62 counties and Kings County/Brooklyn, has an even lower response rate of 40.3 percent, putting it at 50th out of the 62 counties overall in the state.

By contrast, the response rate in Erie, NY is 57.5 percent, ranking it at number 1 on the response chart for the state, while the response rate in Niagara, NY is 57.4 percent, putting it at 2nd place out of the 62 counties.

In terms of cities, Hastings on the Hudson tops the Census response rate in New York, with 70.2 percent of its residents so far completing their census.

Nationally, New York ranks 43 out of the 52 states in terms of response rate to date, with just 47.6 percent of residents or 4,300,000 taking their 2020 Census so far.

Minnesota and Iowa take the first and second place in terms of top response rates to date nationally, with 64 and 61.2 percent of nationals there already completing their census so far.

The low response could mean more bad news for New York going forth, unless its able to drum up more responses for 2020. An inaccurate count will mean a loss in federal funding for the state and NYC, at a time when it needs more funds more than ever.

An undercount based on a lack of response this year could also see losses of political representation in areas that need it the most.

Another undercount in the Caribbean immigrant community will lead to less funding for hospitals and community health care, emergency care, schools, SNAP programs and more in this demographic, said CARIB ID founder Felicia J. Persaud, who fought for 12 years to get Caribbean nationals an option to write in their nationality or ancestry for the first time this year.

“In the midst of a pandemic, its understandable that many are completely overwhelmed but we are urging all Caribbean nationals especially in NYC to make sure they #StandUpAndBeCounted this year and fill out their Census form now,” said Persaud. “The bigger tragedy would be to have to go through the next 10 years with even less funding for basic services in our community that has proven most vulnerable to this disease.”

The Census response data release comes as households nationally will receive another reminder postcard in the mail between April 27-May 9.

The Census Bureau strongly encourages all to respond online at 2020census.gov. Households can respond online in English or 12 other languages or by phone. Households can also respond by mail using the paper questionnaire that was recently mailed to every non-responding address. Households that received a census invitation in the mail and have yet to respond will receive a paper questionnaire by April 30. Take the Census now at https://my2020census.gov/