New Census Data Posted to Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles

New Census Data Posted to Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles

Published On: 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Data on poverty, incomes, educational attainment, and other topics has been updated on the Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles website with newly released information from the United States Census Bureau.

The new data covers the years 2012-2016 and shows that housing affordability continues to be a challenge, poverty is continuing to increase, and incomes are still not keeping up with inflation. Yet homeownership is increasing and educational levels among adults are high in the region.

The data is collected on a rolling basis through the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). It provides socioeconomic, housing, and demographic data that used to be collected every 10 years, with the decennial census. Thanks to the ACS, researchers and community members can track conditions on these critical topics between the once-a-decade counts.

The decennial census is approaching again, with 2020 not so far on the horizon. Officials are predicting fewer people will voluntarily respond to the census, for a number of reasons: response rates have generally been falling; this will be the first largely online census, which will pose challenges for people without adequate internet access; and the federal government has taken a tougher stance in the past year against illegal immigration. In addition, Congress has allocated significantly less funding to the Census Bureau than the bureau has requested for the 2020 census, which, among other reductions, will mean less than half the enumerators (Census Bureau canvassers) will be hired than in 2010 to follow up with unresponsive households.

Yet, the census is critically important to ensuring that political power and federal resources are accurately apportioned. The population counts are used to redraw the boundaries of election districts from congressional seats down through local officeholders, and federal funding for a wide variety of programs is distributed based in part on population. More than $675 billion flows each year to approximately 132 programs ranging from nutrition assistance, housing, education, and much more. Census counts play a significant role in the determination of federal funding allocations.

And for more information about the importance of the census, visit these resources:

The 2020 Census may be wildly inaccurate-and it matters more than you think

Census 2020 Fact Sheet: Census Accuracy and the Undercount

NALEO Education Fund’s Census Resource Page 

CUNY’s Interactive Maps of Hard-to-Count Areas

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