2020 Census Support

2020 Census Support

The 2020 Census is here and there’s a lot at stake for New York City.

In mid-March, U.S. residents started receiving letters from the Census Bureau about how to be counted online, with some also receiving a paper questionnaire. In the weeks that follow, the Census Bureau will send paper forms to households that have not responded.

Starting in August, the Census Bureau will begin knocking on doors of those who have not responded.

Learn about DCP’s role in supporting the Census Bureau through the LUCA and New Construction program.

How did New Yorkers respond to the census in 2010? Access response rate data and maps.

Why the Census Matters

The census is more than just a head count.

It determines how congressional seats are apportioned and how New York City’s fair share of federal funds are distributed for schools, public housing, roads and bridges and so much more.

Learn more about why the census matters for NYC not only in terms of political representation and funding, but also for everything from public health to programs for seniors.

Why Should New Yorkers Respond to the Census?

A low self-response rate can often be a precursor to an undercount and poor data quality, which can lead to under-representation and low funding for communities that need it.

Find out why self-response is so important and what kinds of errors are introduced when self-response rates are low.

NYC Census 2020
For questions regarding outreach, please visit the New York City Office of the Census.

Looking for Census Bureau data and other information about NYC’s demographics? Visit our Population page.

DCP’s Role in Ensuring Accurate Census Addresses

Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Program

Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Program

The Census Bureau needs accurate information about everywhere that people could be living in order to reach everyone. The Department of City Planning (DCP) helps provide that information through the LUCA Program.

The LUCA program allows local governments across the country to review, edit and submit additional residential addresses to the Census Bureau’s Master Address File in advance of the decennial (once-a-decade) census. New York City’s participation in LUCA has dramatically improved the accuracy of the census by helping to identify and correct hundreds of thousands of addresses that would have been missed by the Census Bureau otherwise.

For the 2020 Census, DCP conducted more than two years of field canvassing in targeted areas across all five boroughs. Field canvassing targets were selected based on data received from the Census Bureau indicating discrepancies between housing units on the Census Bureau’s list and New York City’s data sources.

In addition to field canvassing, DCP carried out in-office address review operations using a combination of aerial and street-view imagery, building permits, property tax and public housing records and other information from private data vendors.

This process resulted in the submission of over 122,000 added residential addresses, over 59,000 address corrections and nearly 3,000 deleted addresses.

New Construction Program

New Construction Program

The New Construction program helps to ensure that the Census Bureau’s address list completely and accurately accounts for the ongoing construction of residential units that are not in LUCA and will be completed by April 2020.

DCP compiled and reviewed data on newly constructed units from the Department of Buildings and the Department of Finance. Given the large number of recently constructed units in New York City, DCP submitted 143,000 units to the Census Bureau for 2020.

NYC 2010 Census Response Data and Maps

Learn how New Yorkers responded to the 2010 Census. Some neighborhoods, such as Washington Heights, had impressive responses rates–others less so. We encourage all New Yorkers to fill out their census forms and get counted.

For definitions of the geographic terms used below, such as “census tract” and “NTA,” visit our glossary of geographies.

Mail Return Rates

2010 Census Mail Return Rates by Census Tracts

2010 Census Mail Return Rates by NTA


Mail Return Rate Maps