As New Yorkers Flee, the 2020 Census Takes on Even Greater Importance

Column from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay
August 14, 2020

The importance of an accurate census cannot be overstated. In addition to helping make determinations about key federal funding, it also dictates how many seats each state is allowed in the House of Representatives. Those congressional representatives fight to provide funding to our communities and strengthen the advocacy for our state. That is why I am encouraging everyone to take the brief census survey as soon as possible. For those who have not yet filled out the form, please visit https://2020census.gov/.


According to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, schools, fire departments, health clinics and infrastructure are among some of the important aspects of our community which are shaped by population distribution. Distribution of the nation’s resources depends on accurate data and complete census count. It may not seem of much significance, but every person not counted in New York means a little less funding for the services we need, use and rely on daily.

In New York, it is especially important each resident be counted; we are facing an out-migration crisis unlike we have ever seen. According to information from the Empire Center, New York has lost a net 1.4 million people to the rest of the nation since the last census. With congressional seats already in jeopardy of being eliminated as a result of the exodus, it is absolutely pivotal everyone is counted.

Additionally, when households are not accounted for, census takers are sent out to perform door-to-door, in-person surveys. This is costly and time-consuming. And this time around, there’s an added layer of complexity surrounding COVID-19. The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and can safely and easily be filled out electronically or by mail.

I urge all New Yorkers to take the 2020 Census seriously. The stakes are high. Let’s do everything in our power to ensure New York receives every federal dollar it is entitled. We will absolutely need it as we head toward 2030.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069 and by email at barclayw@nyassembly.gov. You may also find me, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, on Facebook or on Twitter at @WillABarclay.