Fewer than two-thirds of New Yorkers have filled out the 2020 U.S. Census, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Wednesday, with some counties reporting a completion rate of less than a third of individuals.
DiNapoli’s office said that 57.6% of New York households have finished the survey, compared to a 62% national average response rate.
“New York is in danger of being undercounted,” DiNapoli said. “The stakes are high and New York could not only lose Congressional representation but critical funding for education, public transit, housing and more.”
The census is used by the federal government to determine funding in areas like education and health care, but it’s also used to parse out the number of congressional seats in each state. New York hasn’t gained as many residents as other states since the last census.
It’s possible that, based on the state’s stagnant population growth, New York will lose at least one seat in Congress after this year’s census.
The last day for households to self-respond to the census online, by phone, or by email is October 31. A response is required by law.
In New York, some counties are doing better than others. Nassau County has the highest response rate, as of this week, with the census already completed by 68.2% of households. Nassau County and Erie County aren’t far behind.
But some counties are far below the national average. Hamilton County, a sparsely populated area in upstate New York, has the worst response rate, with 16.5% of households having completed the census.
The second-worst response rate is out of Sullivan County in the Hudson Valley. Sullivan reported a response rate of 31.9% this week. Essex County has the third-lowest response rate at 37.8%.
At the city level, Newburgh had the lowest response rate in the state at 38.8%. Sherrill, a city in Oneida County, had the highest response rate at 79.9%.
The municipality with the highest response rate in the state was the town of Pendleton in Niagara County. Eighty-four percent of households in that town have completed the survey, according to the comptroller’s office.
The Comptroller’s Office has a full list of response rates by county and municipality on its website: