Hard To Count

Katie Zilcosky / WAER News

The 2020 census is officially underway with the first person in the country being counted in rural Alaska. But people in the Syracuse area won’t have census takers on snow mobiles coming to their door. Instead, they’ll be asked to fill out the census digitally for the first time in history. And libraries expect to play a big role in our area, where a quarter of residents don’t have internet access at home.


Syracuse and Onondaga County officials are trying to find the best way to get as thorough a census count as possible.  They announced the area’s Complete Count Committee on Wednesday.  It will utilize community groups to try and encourage participation in neighborhoods or among demographic groups that are usually hard to count. 


The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling in the final days of June that keeps the citizenship question off of the 2020 Census. While Census Bureau research shows that a citizenship question could significantly reduce response rates, it’s only one of many groups that are at risk of being undercounted.