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2020 census undercounting would put federal funding and legislative seats at risk for New York

An accurate 2020 census is critically important. A correct count will ensure the state of New York receives the proper federal funding and congressional representation in Washington, D.C.; an undercount would have serious consequences statewide.

The risk of having an accurate 2020 census count may be exacerbated by the new option to submit the census electronically, as well as fears stemming from the attempts to add a citizenship question.

This interactive census tool is designed to help New York’s hospital leaders identify the populations in their market areas that may be undercounted and why.

HANYS urges our member hospitals, as community leaders, to explore your patient population and consider how you can educate your patients about the importance of being counted in the 2020 census.

As the census approaches, HANYS will be working alongside the New York State Complete Count Commission to communicate opportunities to engage your patients in the 2020 census and provide population-specific materials for that patient engagement.

Some individuals and families are “hard to count” during a census.

The Census Bureau considers a census tract HTC if it had a self-response rate in the bottom 20% nationally during the 2010 census. By definition, all tracts with a mail return rate – the first step of the census – of 73% or less are considered HTC. The HTC population often includes people of color, young children, those with low incomes, those who rent and/or those who are foreign-born.

  • The map to the left shows New York’s HTC areas by census tract; the graph below shows the mail return rate distribution of New Yorkers.
  • The areas with the darkest shade of red reflect census tracts with the lowest mail return rates; the light grey areas reflect census tracts with the highest mail return rates.
Statewide Distribution of Mail Return Rate (by Census Tract)

Explore your market area.

Each hospital’s market area has unique population challenges that may lead to undercounting. HANYS has isolated New York hospital market areas to help hospital leaders understand the HTC areas you serve.

  • Shown here is the market area of NYC Health + Hospitals / Kings County – the hospital servicing New York’s most HTC population.
  • Select your hospital to explore your market.
  • 's market area contains total census tracts.
  • The census tracts in this area have had an average mail return rate of %.
  • of the tracts in this area (%) are considered HTC and have a mail return rate at or below 73%.
Market Distribution of Mail Return Rate (by Census Tract)
Market Area Distribution
Statewide Distribution

Explore your HTC population.

Understanding the characteristics of the HTC population you serve is important when identifying ways to educate your patients about the importance of participating in the 2020 census.

  • Using the graphics, maps and interactive features to the left you can explore the characteristics of communities that are identified as HTC leveraging census data on population and household makeup, English language proficiency and income.
  • Several American Community Survey indicators covering demographics, household characteristics and language are shown below to compare to census tract mail return rates.

Density plots (as shown and described below) visualize the distribution of census tracts on each indicator where the height represents the relative number of tracts at or around that number. Below each graph lines are provided to show statewide and market area averages.

explanation of how to read density charts

10 Total Census Tracts
3 HTC Census Tracts
30% of all tracts

Click for more info.

Explore other hospitals in NYS.

Click on a hospital below to explore the HTC population in their market area.

Percentage of Census Tracts by Mail Return Rate Category

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More HANYS interactive data tools

Source: https://www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us/, CUNY Graduate Center Center for Urban Research.

Census Tract 12345
Total Population 120,000 Mail Return Rate 65.3%
This tool analyzes census tract data for each hospitals' inpatient market area determined based on the census tracts that make up the first 80% of a hospitals inpatient discharges, sort ordered by each tract's total volume.