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New Yorkers stand up to be counted

Mayor de Blasio and NYC Census 2020 Director Julie Menin announced preliminary self-response data based on the City of New York’s first-of-its-kind campaign to ensure a complete and accurate count of all New Yorkers in a decennial census.

As of Saturday, October 17, 2020, New York City registered a historic 61.8 percent self-response rate to the 2020 Census, a figure that far outpaced most major cities in the United States, as well as the Census Bureau’s own pre-COVID estimate for self-response in the New York City area,  which was 58 percent.

New York City’s self-response rate is higher than most demographically similar cities in the United States, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Houston, and Dallas, among others.

“New York City was not intimidated. Thanks to our efforts and the power of grassroots organizing, we stood and were counted, even in the face of COVID and presidential obstruction,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“This campaign was an important reflection of our values, and we will continue to remain vigilant as the Census Bureau delivers its state population counts.”

“A complete census count can serve as a powerful step to right systemic wrongs that have robbed Black, Brown, and immigrant communities of their fair share of representation and funding, which makes a complete census count one of the great civil rights battles of today,” said J. Philip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives.

“Our city’s effort was innovative at every turn, despite every obstacle that was thrown our way.”

Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census 2020 and Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel, NYC Law Department said the city will be closely monitoring final census results when they’re released on December 31 “to ensure that New Yorkers receive their fair share of federal funding and political representation.”

Julie Menin and Mayor de Blasio stump for the count

Key Census Campaign Achievements:

  • Historic self-response: 61.8 percent self-response, surpassing no fewer than a dozen major cities in the U.S., as well as the Census Bureau’s pre-COVID estimate for self-response in the New York City area.
  • More than seven million text messages: More than seven million texts have been sent to New Yorkers reminding them to complete the census and/or assisting them with completing the census
  • More than four million calls: More than four million calls have been made to New Yorkers reminding them to complete the census and/or assisting them with completing the census
  • Close to one million New Yorkers clicked: Close to one million New Yorkers directly clicked on our digital advertisements directly linking viewers to the Census Bureau’s self-response page
  • Approximately half-a-million households: More than 470,000 New York City households, representing no less than 1.23 million New Yorkers, have been counted or directly assisted as a result of NYC Census 2020’s Campaign. This does not include New Yorkers who completed the census after seeing or hearing a NYC Census 2020 ad campaign.
  • More than 1,000 events: NYC Census 2020 and its partners organized or participated in more than 1,000 events in under a year, both in-person and virtual, regarding census participation
  • 34 media campaigns in 27 languages: NYC Census designed and launched a record-breaking 34 media campaigns in 27 languages – the most the City has ever done – to reach all New Yorkers. PSAs featured figures like Cardi B and Alicia Keys.
  • Three out of five boroughs surpassed their 2010 response: Number of boroughs surpassing their 2010 response rates (Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island).
  • 157 awardees: Number of NYC Complete Count Fund awardees – collectively, the recipients of $16 million funding for census education, outreach, organizing, and advocacy
  • More than 80: Number of languages in which NYC Complete Count Fund awardees serve New Yorkers
  • 16: Number of Citywide Partners – key partners responsible for developing strategy, identifying resources and tactics, as well as implementation and amplification
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