Census

The Issue

Historically, Asian Americans in the United States have been undercounted in the decennial census. And since government funding is allocated to human service programs and schools based on census data, our Asian American communities do not receive enough resources and assistance they need. Census data is also utilized in redistricting, voting rights and language access to government services. Most significantly, by filling out a census form, it is one of the truly few ways – even before gaining a green card or the right to vote – that new immigrants’ voices can be heard by mainstream policymakers.


  • Language and cultural barriers preventing households from filling out their forms
  • Because the census is only conducted every 10 years, many new immigrants are unaware of its existence and do not understand its significance
  • Lack of trust in government regarding confidentiality of the information provided
  • Multi-family households and unconventional housing situations prevent individuals and households from ever receiving a census form
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    Our Response


    Special Initiatives

    The Federation spearheaded the 2010 Census Community Engagement Initiative, a nearly $1million campaign, to encourage everyone to participate in the last decennial census. The Federation partnered with over 35 community-based organizations in the Northeast in an effort to reach every individual in our diverse communities. We provided over half a million dollars in funding to our partners and ran a census awareness ad campaign throughout public transportation systems in New York City, Syracuse, and Albany. To learn more about the initiative, please go to http://www.aafederation.org/census_2010/.


    Connecting to Resources

    Through the 2010 Census Community Engagement Initiative and the Community Fund, the Federation provided $543,000, an unmatched level of funding support to grassroots organizations in the Asian American community for census activities. Highlights of partner agencies' 2010 Census activities supported by the Federation's initiative include: