WESTCHESTER – As of April 1, 2020 Westchester County had 1,004,457 people living in its borders according to the 2020 Census. The new resident population of 1,004,457 is the highest it has ever been in Westchester County according to Census data.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “I always knew we were a big County, big in culture, big in business, big in life and now also big in population. I want to thank Westchester residents for making Westchester count. No one is fleeing this county – they are coming here to be part of Westchester. This Census news continues a trend of good news for Westchester County. Our economy is thriving, businesses both small and large are growing, crime is down, and our vaccination rate is among the highest in the state.”
Westchester County Population
An accurate count enables Westchester County to receive billions of dollars in state and federal funding that is allocated based on population, and can be used for our schools, infrastructure, roads, hospitals, fire departments and after school programs. The 2019 Census population estimate was 967,000, well below the 2020 population number.
On April 1, 2019, County Executive Latimer signed an Executive Order and announced the formation of the Westchester County Complete Count Committee to include geographic, ethnic and constituency representatives from many of the traditionally hard to count populations. The Complete Count Committees worked with Census advocates, community-based organizations, local municipal Complete Count committees and college students to get the word out about the importance of a full and complete count for the 2020 Census.
Included in the County’s efforts to promote the 2020 Census was a robust public awareness campaign in both English and in Spanish, which included advertising on billboards, County buses and bus shelters, bookmarks and stickers, and more. Latimer also rolled out a series of seven public service announcements, each one focused on a different target audience for the Census from youth to clergy to business leaders.
The Census portal opened on March 12, 2020 while the County was beginning to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic caused the County to pivot activities and outreach efforts accommodating a lockdown and social distancing.
Commissioner of Planning Norma Drummond said, “The County’s role in the 2020 Census was unprecedented compared to previous Census events. We took hold of this challenge and didn’t leave the work to the Census Bureau and municipalities. Westchester’s success in achieving a higher percentage of self-response was partly due to the work done well in advance of 2020 to ensure the Census Bureau had more accurate addresses to reach out to. The results of the County’s efforts show the hard work paid off.”
Latimer said, “We kicked off a robust awareness campaign a full year before Census was set to begin, establishing a Complete Count Committee that put a great focus on ensuring all sectors of the County are participating. I want to thank Carola Bracco, who chaired the Complete Count Committee, for her dedication and outstanding work. I also want to thank all the County departments who stepped up and helped us get an accurate count of Westchester.”
Westchester Community Foundation awarded the County two grants for a total amount of $100,000 to support the work of the Westchester County Complete Count Committee through the hiring of a coordinator for the Committee. Latimer introduced Heriberto Contreras as the County’s Census Coordinator assisting the County Planning Department. The County thanks Contreras for his work on this important topic.