Jul 21, 2020, 10:29am EDT
Updated on:Oct 04, 2020, 5:16pm EDT
Officials across the Hudson Valley are urging residents to fill out their 2020 census forms.
In Yonkers, officials worry they could lose out on $25 million a year if they don’t raise their census reporting numbers.
That’s because the city estimates every person counted is worth around $2,500 a year for the next decade. They believe they’re currently underreporting anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people.
The city’s response rate is at 55%, which is well below the county at 63%. The national reporting rate is at 62%, and the state is at 58%, according to the Census Bureau.
“When we go to the federal government for additional aid or federal disaster aid, it’s based on census tracks. If people aren’t being counted then we’re not getting the dollars we need,” says Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.
The city is targeting low-income and undocumented communities by bringing census employees to food pantries.
The goal is to encourage those who are least likely to fill out the census to do so.
“Communities are going to have to rebuild after this COVID-19. Funding is going to more critical than ever before and the census numbers help us to determine how hundreds of billions of dollars get distributed. So if communities don’t get a complete count, they don’t get their fair share of the money that they’re going to need to rebuild,” says Linda Berk, of the U.S. Census Bureau.
The new last date to fill out the census is Oct. 31.