Immigrant Voices

Census Response Numbers Lag Behind In Large Swath Of Haitian Community

By Jonathan Greig

The Census 2020 response rates in Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Haitian populations are lagging far behind average city and national numbers, raising concerns about how severe the undercount will be. 

For the first time in the country’s history, the federal government has made it possible for people to follow along online as census workers count everyone living in the United States. The Census Bureau updates the website daily to show response rates in every district of all 50 states. 

As of June 22, about 60 percent of New York State has filled out the census while nearly 53 percent have sent in their census responses in New York City.

But when you drill down into the numbers more closely, it is easy to see that majority Haitian districts and communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County are not keeping up with the rest of the state. 

The census response rate in Spring Valley is just 41 percent while areas around Canarsie and Flatbush range from response numbers as high as about 45 percent to as low as 33 percent. According to census data from 2010, only about 50 percent of residents in these same areas ended up filling out the census. The numbers from Queens range from as low as 34% to just below 50% in parts of Elmont and Hempstead.

New York could potentially lose two congressional seats and hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding that would have gone to schools, hospitals and roads in the city according to Haitian-American NYC Census 2020 Field Director Kathleen Daniel.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a journalist based in New York City working as a contributing writer for CBS Interactive. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.
Jonathan Greig
Jun. 26, 2020