By Mariana Calvo, Ariva Census Captain
Since mid-March, New York City has been on lockdown. To prevent the spread of coronavirus, non-essential businesses have closed, streets have emptied, and New Yorkers have stayed home. However, not all New Yorkers have experienced the coronavirus pandemic in the same way. Some have elected to leave the city until it passes, leading to a loss of population just weeks before Census Day–which came and went on April 1st.
While most people understand that the US Census is a population count that occurs every ten years, what a lot of people don’t know is that the Census specifically asks people to respond with regards to where they live as of April 1st. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, many New Yorkers’ residences dramatically changed, as they fled New York City indefinitely. This created some confusion, as those who fled are not sure how to state their residence on the Census. They wonder if they should share where they were on April 1st or where they would have been on April 1st had there not been a pandemic.
We’re here to clear up any confusion!
According to the Census Act of 1790, US residents should fill out the Census at their “usual residence.” A usual residence is defined as the place where a person lives and sleeps most of the time. This means that a person who may not be at their usual residence on April 1st for whatever reason, including coronavirus, can still include their usual residence on their Census form. Therefore, New Yorkers who are not home right now, should still list their residence in New York City. In fact, it’s imperative that they do.
The coronavirus pandemic is far from over. As the epicenter, New York City will need representation and significant financial resources not only to combat the virus, but also to recover from the social, economic, and psychological upheaval Covid-19 unleashed on the city. The Census is the way to secure that voice and that support. New York City needs you.
Fill out the census at: https://2020census.gov/.