Census workers have adapted their outreach efforts for the 2020 census to prevent an undercount due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Census Bureau extended the collection process by three months to Oct. 31 to compensate for lost outreach opportunities, said Jeff Behler, New York’s regional director for the bureau. Census leadership also transformed in-person outreach to virtual campaigns.
The goal is to have as many individuals self-register for the census as possible to prevent an undercount. But for “hard-to-count” cities like Syracuse, pre-existing challenges are compounding new problems the pandemic has presented.
As of June 26, nearly 50% of Syracuse households had self-responded to the 2020 census. The response rate is still well below the 73% threshold that experts use to define hard-to-count census tracts.
“Even though our self-response rates may be lower than (the national average), it doesn’t mean we’re not going to count everybody,” Behler said. “It just means we’re going to have to go and knock on more doors.”
Census data helps determine how much federal funding is allocated to cities for health and public infrastructure, Pell Grants and food assistance programs.
Only 61.7% of households in Syracuse completed self-response forms in the 2010 census, leaving census workers to pursue the remaining …read more
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