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The 2020 Census & Our Fight to Ensure Every Child Counts


December 16, 2020

The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments regarding the Trump Administration’s memorandum to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment data used for congressional seats and Electoral College votes, the memorandum represents another step in a series of actions designed to impede the Census Bureau’s constitutional mandate.

As we have stated in our response to the memorandum, this action is in direct defiance of Article 1, Section 2 and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and would inhibit the counting of all New York residents including more than 265,000 NYC children who live in a home with at least one undocumented immigrant adult.

While the enumeration phase of the Census is over, we are reminded by this case that our efforts to protect the rights of children, families, and all people must continue.

Since we began working on Census 2020 education and mobilization efforts nearly two and a half years ago, CCC has worked collaboratively to ensure New Yorkers are equipped with the information needed to count young children, families, and community members in a fair and accurate Census. Our work through the Every Child Counts NYC campaign has inspired and energized the CCC team, enabling us to partner with community leaders, local and national advocates and everyday New Yorkers like you who have stepped up and affirmed the right of every person to be counted.

What We’ve Accomplished Together

As the 2020 Census launched in March 2020, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic created extraordinary obstacles to get out the count. Challenges in outreach efforts continued as the Federal Administration took repeated action to cut short the Census data collection and self-response timeline.

Despite these challenges, we continued to call attention to the undercount of young children in the Census and the importance of the Census in supporting child and family well-being. With our community partners, we trained trusted messengers and equipped them with tools and information to get out the count.

  • We raised our voices alongside Census advocates across the country and celebrated a historic victory with the Supreme Court Decision to not include the Citizenship Question in the 2020 Census;
  • We launched a city-wide Census education campaign fighting to reverse the historic undercount of young children ages 0-4, and to close the gap in funding and inequities in representation brought on by an undercount;
  • With our profiles of the 59 Community Districts in New York City, we highlighted information about the share of households in each community that face barriers to participating in the 2020 Census and underscore how these barriers contribute to the undercount of young children;
  • We mobilized a new generation of Census leaders through CCC’s YouthAction Network to support youth engagement of their peers and community members in Get Out the Count efforts including CCC’s peer trainers reaching more than 250 youth across NYC;
  • We hosted the 2020 Census Forum, ‘Counting Young Children’, to uplift discussion on why counting young children is critical to ensuring a fair and accurate Census.
  • We called attention to the implications of an undercount on child and family well-being through our Keeping Track of New York City’s Children databook providing data and demographics on economic security, housing, health, education, and indicators specific to youth, family and community well-being;
  • We called attention to the harmful impact that Federal actions could have on our shared goal of achieving a fair and accurate Census including action to exclude undocumented immigrants and action to cut short Census operations that would be harmful to New York’s young children and families;
  • With your support, including hundreds of letters to Congress, we demanded the Senate take action to ensure the Census Bureau would have the time needed to complete a fair and accurate count; and
  • We’ve engaged thousands of organizations, service providers, community leaders, and everyday New Yorkers to ensure our communities get their fair share of resources, representation, and voice by completing their 2020 Census form

What’s Next for the 2020 Census?

The final self-response rate, as of October 17, 2020, was 64.2 percent for New York State and 61.8 percent for New York City. Using the interactive map below, you can check out final self-response rates for your community and neighborhood.

NYC Self-Response Rates in 2020 by Borough and Census Tract

Data updated on

Scroll to zoom or double click a borough to see Census tract response rates.

Click and drag to navigate the map

< 25%< 50%< 75%< 100%

Visit data.cccnewyork.org to View Census Self-Response Rates at the City, Borough, and Community District Level.

Click Here >

With the enumeration phase of the 2020 Census over, the Census now moves into several key stages that impact federal funding and representation for communities for the next ten years.

Efforts will continue to urge Congress provides the Census Bureau with an extension to process Census data before sending data to the White House.

As of now, the key dates include:

  • December 31 – The Census Bureau will provide the apportionment data (original timeline – note that recent breaking news as of November 19th indicate that the Census Bureau is no longer able to meet this deadline and will possibly send apportionment data in late January 2021).
  • April 1, 2021 – The Census Bureau will provide redistricting data to every state (the data is likely to be made available on a state-by-state basis before April 1st).
  • Summer or Early Fall 2021 – Date to expect a Census Bureau analysis of the final count of young children.

In addition, ongoing litigation in the courts that will impact the Census:

  • On Apportionment Data – The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on November 30th regarding the Trump Administration’s decision to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment data that is used to determine how many Congressional seats each state gets. If the Court upholds the Trump Administration order, states with large numbers of undocumented immigrants will receive fewer seats in Congress, negatively impacting representation of state constituents and their children. Notably, if Congress were to extend the Census deadlines for reporting data, a new administration could undo the Trump Administration’s order. A ruling on this administrative order, from the Supreme Court, is now pending.
  • On Citizenship Data – Latino groups filed a lawsuit against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross challenging his directive to the Census Bureau to collect and produce citizenship data for state-level redistricting purposes. This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
  • On the Census Timeline – The National Urban League is leading a coalition of counties, cities, advocacy organizations, and individuals in a challenge to the Trump administration’s decision to abandon the U.S. Census Bureau’s Covid-19 plans and rush the data-collection and data-processing timelines for the 2020 Census. This case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Thank You to Our Partners

We would like to give special thanks to every person who completed your census, attended an event, shared information with a family, talked to relatives and neighbors, signed a letter to Congress, posted on social media, texted friends, joined a phone bank event and much more – our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for making a difference.

Special thanks goes to our partnering organization whose collaboration was integral to the work of CCC’s Every Child Counts NYC campaign, including fellow Steering Committee Members of the New York Counts 2020 Coalition; Queens Public Library; Brooklyn Public Library; New York Public Library; the Borough Presidents Office Complete Count Committees of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens; the U.S. Census Bureau; NYC Census 2020; Generation Citizen; LatinoJustice PRLDEF; MinKwon Center for Community Action; Simply Put; the YMCA of Greater New York; the Partnership for America’s Children and the Count All Kids National Campaign; Sheltering Arms; Public Health Solutions; NYCHA Family Partnership; the Hunts Point Alliance for Children; the Elmhurst Community Partnership; the New York Hall of Science; The Staten Island Alliance for North Shore Children & Families; Grace School Church; the Partnership for Early Childhood Development at United Hospital Fund; the Human Services Council; CUNY school of Journalism; the Manny Cantor Center; the Leeman Foundation; the East Harlem Community Partnership Program; the Jamaica Community Partnership Program; the NAACP; the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy; and innumerable other partners community organizations, parents, leaders, and advocates who fought for children and families across New York City and State.

Our Work Continues

As we enter this next chapter, CCC will keep you updated on critical developments that emerge. In the meantime, there are several ways for Census advocates like you to continue the fight for children and families across New York:

  • Stay up to date on our work to support children and families amid the pandemic by signing up for our e-action network and following us on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.
  • Get involved in our youth-led citywide initiative to elevate the voices of young people and influence the agendas of candidates for public office in the 2021 elections for Mayor and City Council. If you are a youth between 14 – 24 years old or represent a youth-serving organization, text IDEA to (877) 661-5647 to share suggestions and learn more.
  • Gain the knowledge and tools to be a leader in your community. Click here to learn more and find out how you can join CCC’s Community Leadership Course and Youth Community Leadership Course.

To stay in touch with ongoing Census news and efforts at CCC, you can email Carlos Rosales, Community Outreach & Engagement Associate, at crosales@cccnewyork.org.

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