Senator Dilan Calls on Brooklyn Residents to Return Census Questionnaires by this Friday

Martin Malavé Dilan

April 14, 2010

To date, Brooklyn return rates among worst in New York State

Senator Martin Malavé Dilan is urging Brooklyn residents to return their 2010 Census questionnaires by this Friday.

April 16 marks the last day to return the Census questionnaires before trained census workers begin making their way door to door in communities with poor returns to gather responses in person.

“Unfortunately, Brooklyn, and New York, are well below the national average return rates. New York ranks the fifth worst in the nation in return rates to date and  portions of Williamsburg and Cypress Hills are among the worst-recorded counts statewide,” said Senator Dilan.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York’s return rate as of Monday, April 12 was at 60 percent. Kings County average rate is at 46 percent, compared to 52 percent of residents that returned their forms in the 2000 Census. Portions of Williamsburg and Cypress Hills are reporting as low as 31 percent and 24 percent return rates, respectively. The national return rate is at 66 percent.

For every New Yorker counted in the 2000 census, the federal government spent nearly $3,000 annually, providing the state with over $38.2 billion in federal program funding based on population numbers from census data.

Brooklyn’s historically low return rates means essential funding to sectors such as education, social services and housing passed the borough by. The latest return results show Brooklyn is in step to do it again.

“The need in some of our communities is great. But no one can know the extent of those needs if you don’t tell them. The census questionnaire does just that, and the information you provide in it is legally protected,” said Senator Dilan. “Your information can’t be used to hurt you, it only serves to help your community, and ultimately yourself.”

Following the April 16 mail-in deadline, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin personal visits to nonresponding households on May 1.