CUR research initiatives
CUR's website provides free access to many of the data sets, maps, and research findings we have prepared over the years. Click on the links below to read descriptions of our work, view data and maps online, and download our materials for use in your own projects. Contact us if you have any questions or would like us to provide customized services for you.
Analysis of the 19th and 20th weeks of 2020 Census self-response rates (July 24 through August 6). Highlighted topics:
- Selected recent local response rate increases in areas of targeted Get Out The Count (GOTC) efforts;
- Self-response in NRFU “soft launch” areas; what it might mean when NRFU begins nationwide (Aug. 11);
- Areas that have met or surpassed their final 2010 response rates, and areas that are behind their 2010 rates and are most at risk of a rushed NRFU operation;
- Bottom 20 percent of tracts by response rate; and
- Wrapping up; taking stock.
Low self-response rates in 2020 in many places will require a greater share of door-knocking followup than in 2010, highlighting disparate consequences if NRFU is rushed. Maps from the Center for Urban Research visualize these patterns.
Analysis of the 17th and 18th weeks of 2020 Census self-response rates (July 10 through July 23). Highlighted topics:
- Areas that have met or surpassed their final 2010 response rates;
- Bottom 20 percent of tracts by response rate:
- Demographics, compared with top 20% (geographic patterns, and implications for Nonresponse Follow-up (NRFU); and
- Update/Leave areas have improved, but rates still low.
Analysis of the 14th, 15th, and 16th weeks of 2020 Census self-response rates (June 19 through July 9). Highlighted topics:
- Modest nationwide response rate increases since June 19 but notable state and local increases;
- Details on states, counties, tracts, etc that have met or surpassed their final 2010 response rates;
- Summary updates on the latest response rate trends for:
- Internet First vs Internet Choice tracts
- Tracts by plurality race/Hispanic origin
- Tracts with lowest response rates nationwide compared with highest rates;
- CUNY Map updates: NRFU soft launch; new features for online trendline visualization.
Analysis of the 12th and 13th weeks of 2020 Census self-response rates (June 5 through June 18). Highlighted topics:
- Substantial nationwide and statewide (and in Puerto Rico) response rate increases the weekend of June 12;
- Details about those increases in states & communities where Update/Leave operations resumed as of May 6;
- Notable increases also in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago;
- Internet First vs Internet Choice: rates increasing for tracts that received bilingual mailing;
- Response rates across tracts by plurality race/Hispanic origin; and
- New online trendline visualization and new response rate metric to help support GOTC work during the extended self-response timeframe.
Analysis of the 10th and 11th weeks of 2020 Census self-response rates (May 22 through June 4). Highlighted topics:
- NYC's response rate continues to outpace U.S. increases;
- The latest response rates in states where Update/Leave operations resumed as of May 6: modest increases;
- Closer look at communities already meeting their final 2010 response rates;
- Update on Internet First vs Internet Choice gap; and
- Update on response rates in plurality “historically undercounted population” census tracts.
Analysis of the 8th and 9th weeks of 2020 Census self-response rates (May 8 through May 21). Highlighted topics:
- Rates in some cities are outpacing U.S. increases again
- Restart of Update/Leave Operation: Is it making a difference (yet)?
- What do the lowest responding census tracts ("bottom 20%") look like?
- Response rates in tracts with a plurality of foreign-born population from selected countries
Analysis of the 7th week (May 1 through May 7) of 2020 Census self-response rates. Highlighted topics:
- More evidence of response rate boosts from 4th mailing/related outreach
- Demographics of Internet Choice vs Internet First
- Historically undercounted groups
- Update/Leave operations restarting in some states
Analysis of the 6th week (April 24 through April 30) of 2020 Census self-response rates. Highlighted topics:
- pace of daily change in rates for internet-only compared with mail/phone
- Internet Choice, Internet First (4th mailing with paper questionnaire boosting mail response, result most noticeable in Internet First areas, response rates in Internet Choice areas still lagging)
- demographic trends (rates in areas with concentrations of historically undercounted groups)
Analysis of the 5th week (April 17 through April 23) of 2020 Census self-response rates. Highlighted topics:
- pace of daily change for internet-only compared with mail/phone
- city / metropolitan area / suburb / rural trends (two examples: Michigan/Detroit & Texas/Houston)
- demographic trends for tracts with lowest rates
- response rate gap between Internet Choice and Internet First tracts
Analysis of the 4th week (April 10 through April 16) of 2020 Census self-response rates. Highlighted topics:
- using HTC/Response Rate map to identify uneven response rates locally & regionally;
- new extended census timeframe (and new approach to assessing self-response/nonresponse follow-up implications for historically undercounted populations);
- Update/Leave and internet access; and
- Internet First compared with Internet Choice census tracts.
Analysis of the 3rd week (April 3 through April 9) of 2020 Census self-response rates. Highlighted topics:
- progress in Update/Leave areas (especially response rates on tribal lands);
- response rates in tracts across cities, by size of city; and
- historically undercounted populations.
Analysis of the 2nd week (March 27 through April 2) of 2020 Census self-response rates. Highlighted topics:
- suspension of Update/Leave operation;
- possible relationship with COVID-19 trends;
- Internet First / Internet Choice / bilingual mailings; and
- response rates by demographic characteristics.
Analysis of the 1st week (March 20 through March 26) of 2020 Census self-response rates. Highlighted topics:
- internet response patterns & Internet First and Internet Choice;
- bilingual mailings; and
- historically undercounted populations.
We have received several emails asking how to map the 2020 Census self-response rates, and how to compare those rates with demographic characteristics & other census participation metrics. This is not as straightforward as you might think, due to new data from the Census Bureau combined with Census Bureau terms that can be confusing. This Census 2020 Self-Response Data Q&A is intended to help guide other data analysts as they try to make sense of the 2020 (and 2010) self-response rates.
The Center for Urban Research (CUR) at the CUNY Graduate Center has updated its Census 2020 Hard to Count (HTC 2020) map with self-response trends from the past two decennial censuses, to provide historical context as stakeholders fine-tune their Get Out the Count (GOTC) plans and participate in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Response Rate Challenge. The analysis below provides background for this information and the importance of self-responding to the decennial census, especially as the count takes place during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are updates to the HTC map focused on self-response rates:
- May 27, 2020: Update/Leave operations have resumed in 42 states and Puerto Rico; rates are increasing slowly nationwide, but bright spots highlight importance of census outreach to continue to boost response; tracts with lowest response rates are very different than tracts with highest rates.
- May 14, 2020: New map search feature for Area Census Offices (where the Update/Leave operation is resuming), our latest self-response rate analysis (Week7), & links to other projects analyzing self-response rates.
- May 6, 2020: News about where the Update/Leave operation is resuming, and our latest self-response rate analyses (Weeks 4, 5, & 6).
- April 13, 2020: Week 3 Response Rate Analysis; Trendlines Added to the Map.
- April 7, 2020: Week 2 Response Rate Analysis; Tribal Lands Added to the Map.
- April 3, 2020: Census Day Bump in Response Rates; Your Data Questions Answered
- March 31, 2020: Week 1 analysis of census self-response rates.
- March 23, 2020: Update on mapping self-response rates, with emphasis on the 2020 progress bar that fills in daily after the latest rates are published, easy share/embed options for your map, and some notes on the data.
- March 19, 2020: In a joint statement with our colleagues at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), we highlighted the importance of a fair and accurate 2020 Census as the coronavirus challenges grow, and lifted up the resources available at our HTC 2020 map to help inspire Americans to fill out the 2020 Census form on their own.
- March 2020: The HTC map is now focused on census self-response rates.
The Center for Urban Research (CUR) at the CUNY Graduate Center updated its Census 2020 Hard to Count (HTC 2020) map with self-response trends from the past two decennial censuses, to provide historical context as stakeholders fine-tune their Get Out the Count (GOTC) plans and participate in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Response Rate Challenge. This explainer discusses the different ways the Census Bureau measures self-response for the decennial census.
NB: This post was updated December 2019.
For the 2020 census, the Census Bureau will be providing options for households across the country to submit their census responses, compared with 2010 when almost all households received a paper questionnaire by mail and were asked to return the completed form also by mail. Depending where you live, you may receive a mailed invitation with a unique ID to respond online or by phone (an "Internet First" mailing). Or you may receive a paper version of the census questionnaire that you can mail back to the Bureau (this is an "Internet Choice" mailing because it will include the paper questionnaire plus instructions for responding online). Some of these areas may receive the mailing in Spanish and English. Other communities will not be receiving a mailed invitation at all; instead they either will receive hand-delivered census packets from the Census Bureau or will be counted directly in-person. The information on all these different 2020 Census contact techniques is now combined in one place at our Hard to Count map, so census stakeholders can more easily inform local residents about what to expect when the 2020 decennial census takes place.
The nation’s more than 16,700 public libraries will likely play an essential role in helping to ensure a fair and accurate 2020 census. Not only are public libraries important information sources for local communities across the country, but virtually all public libraries provide public internet access computers as well as public wi-fi. Internet access is critical because for the first time the decennial census in 2020 will be available online, and the Census Bureau will be urging most households to submit their replies to the census questionnaire via a secure website. Public library computers can provide a convenient opportunity to submit 2020 census information for households that do not otherwise have easy access to the internet. This analysis by the Center for Urban Research at The Graduate Center / CUNY examines the proximity of public libraries in the U.S. to hard-to-count census tracts and areas with poor internet access, with an eye toward the role of libraries in the upcoming 2020 Census.
The Center for Urban Research collaborated with New York City Councilmember Brad Lander in 2012 and 2013 to compile a set of documents that analyzed an array of urban issues facing New York City against the backdrop of the 2013 mayoral election, and that proposed reforms and recommendations to form a progressive agenda to lead New York into the 21st century. Each chapter of the report is available here for downloading.
For the upcoming 2020 Census, the Census Bureau plans to open only 248 Area Census Offices — half as many as in 2010 — to carry out important census tasks and valuable local assistance. The cut in the number of local census offices affects almost every state and many counties in urban, rural, & suburban areas across the country. The link above provides charts that display the proposed reductions for the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as for the counties that will experience the largest drops in the number of local offices.
For the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will urge most households to fill out the census form online rather than use a paper questionnaire. This is an effort to boost self-response rates and reduce costs. But in some areas of the country, especially in disadvantaged communities that have proven more vulnerable to being undercounted in the past, relatively low internet access may hinder the effort to increase online response. This could make it even more challenging to conduct a fair and accurate census in the nation's hardest-to-count areas, and counterintuitively may also adversely impact some areas that would be considered more likely to self-respond during the 2020 Census based on historical trends. The Center for Urban Research's analysis presents these concerns. Also, our Hard to Count online map shows which communities across the country may be impacted the greatest by these issues.
In the context of renewed efforts to boost U.S. manufacturing since the 2007-09 recession, the maker movement has captured the imaginations of policy makers and commanded attention and resources at the White House and in city halls across the nation. CUR Visiting Research Scholar Laura Wolf-Powers is the lead author on this report, which provides first-of-its-kind evidence on the locally embedded business enterprises fueling the maker phenomenon, and on the institutional ecosystems that support them in three cities: New York City, Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon. The report was funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and co-authored with collaborators at Portland State University and the University of Illinois.
Recent news that many thousands of voters were inadvertently removed from NYC's voter roll -- especially in Brooklyn -- raises important questions about how New York's electorate is measured. This post maps the drop in voters by neighborhood across the city, and highlights other statistics showing inconsistent fluctuations in the city's voter roll.
The Center for Urban Research prepared a paper discussing how "communities of interest" might be considered, measured, and understood in the context of drawing new City Council lines in the 2013 districting process. The paper was written for the NYC Districting Commission, and is provided here with the permission of the Commission.
The Manhattan Institute's report on "The End of the Segregated Century" makes bold claims about the decline of African-American segregation in America. The Center for Urban Research examines the report's claims for the largest metro area in the country: New York. Through our review and comprehensive mapping of the region, we find a more nuanced story, in which the end of the era of segregation is not at hand.
Between 2010 and 2012, the US Census Bureau will have publicly released a vast amount of data reflecting the results of the 2010 decennial census as well as the separate but related American Community Survey. The Center for Urban Research is immersed in these Census data with the goals of accessing and distributing, visualizing, customizing, and analyzing it statistically in order to help others understand how to use it in their work. This page summarizes some of our efforts.
Links to online resources about the 2010 Census data for New York and the nation.
The Census Bureau today published the official 2010 Census population counts. Maps and data from CUNY's Center for Urban Research reveal which districts would need to be reshaped to add or reduce population based on these numbers.
The Census Bureau announced that New York State will lose 2 congressional districts based on the 2010 Census (from 29 to 27). Maps and data from CUNY's Center for Urban Research show which districts would need to be redistricted.
The latest Census Bureau population estimates for NY State legislative districts (covering the 2005-09 period) have important implications for redistricting in the New York State Assembly and Senate. CUNY's Center for Urban Research maps and analysis show why.
Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census as of April 28, focused on analyzing the impact of replacement census forms, as well as the characteristics of areas that will be the focus of door-to-door census enumeration activity.
Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census as of April 20, with an emphasis on areas that will be the focus of door-to-door census enumeration activity starting in May.
Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census as of April 13 at the tract and county levels nationwide, including a new analysis of improvement over 2000 Census participation for counties and tracts (city by city).
Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census as of April 6 at the tract and county levels nationwide, including an examination in major cities.
Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census at the tract and county levels nationwide.
The Center for Urban Research is collaborating with the NY Immigration Coalition on a project funded by the NY Community Trust to collect, analyze, and disseminate demographic and socioeconomic data to assist local immigrant-serving organizations. CUR and the Coalition will also be training these groups in how best to integrate this data into local organizing and advocacy efforts.
This decade-long study examines the educational attainment, labor market experiences, family formation, values, attitudes, and civic and social incorporation among the young adult children of post-1965 immigrants who grew up in the New York metropolitan area and compares them to peers from native born backgrounds.
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2008. Maps showing current conditions and trends in employment, firms, and wages in detailed industry sectors (NAICS) from 2000-2006 by county and ZIP Code in the New York metropolitan area.
Presentation by CUR's John Mollenkopf at an April 2007 conference co-sponsored by the Drum Major Institute and Baruch College's School of Public Affairs to discuss whether the middle class dream can survive in New York. Other speakers included former Governor Mario Cuomo and NYC Comptroller William Thompson.
The American Community Survey releases population estimates on an annual basis at the level of census-defined Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs). In a project for the Long Island-based Hagedorn Foundation, we were asked to estimate Hispanic population by legislative district (state and county). We used demographic methods to distribute the PUMA Latino population over Census Blocks, then aggregated the blocks by legislative district. This summary describes our approach.
The NYCLMIS' Introduction to New York City Green Jobs defines the green economy, identifies local industries that are most closely involved in it, defines green jobs, distinguishes new jobs from old jobs that require new skills, gives examples of green jobs likely to grow in New York City, and outlines the major factors that will affect the future demand for green jobs.
The American Community Survey 2005-09 is a massive dataset, best managed in a full-fledged relational database management system. Using the Census-supplied data dictionary, we created SQL scripts to create the table shells and import the data into PostgreSQL, a widely-used open source RDBMS.
During the 1990s, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) dramatically increased and improved its use of computer mapping, and made computerized maps a central feature of its innovative management process known as CompStat. To explore ways to add more analytical capacity to the NYPD’s crime mapping capibilities, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) hired CUR and CAPSE to identify and evaluate methods for measuring and analyzing crime patterns and trends using GIS.