During our 2019 Convention, last October, the Census New York Regional Director, Jeff T. Behler, addressed our membership. He spoke about the challenges this year’s Census, and, he described a variety of ways that we could be involved in order to maximize community participation in the 2020 Census.
I am happy to report that most or our chapters have participated by holding events, working, and disseminating materials in the community.
Well now it is time to TAKE ACTION. Here is why:
Census numbers determine congressional seats and redistribute more than $675 billion in annual federal funds that support our community’s vital programs such as: services for the elderly, youth, and families, housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.
According to a 2019 report by the Center for Urban Futures:
Older adults are the fastest-growing segment of the population statewide. Over the past decade, the number of New Yorkers ages 65 and over increased by 647,000, or 26 percent. During the same period, the state’s overall population grew by just 3 percent. There are now more New Yorkers ages 65 and older statewide than there are children under the age of 13.”
Understanding these facts, we have combined the 2019 NYS Elder Economic Security Index figures with some of the Census Estimates, and have found that:
In New York State a total of 38.6% Single person 65 + and 24% couples are living in the gap: their income is too high to be considered poor, yet they have sufficient incomes to make ends meet.
A total of 15.6% of New York ‘s older population receive SNAP Benefits or Food Stamps, and a total of 120,000 of NYS older residents qualify for Medicare Savings Programs, yet are not enrolled in these programs, leaving close to $6,000 on the table per person every year.
The Census estimates show that 33% of seniors 65+ are considered disabled with 8.9% having Difficulty in Self Care and 5.6% experiencing difficulty in Independent Living.
Among New York State’s elderly population:
- a total of 377,016 elders spend more than 30% of their household income on rent;
- a total of 403,382 of older home owners spend more than 30% of their household income on their housing costs; and
- a total of 19.3 per cent subsist without a reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
In order to ensure that more programs are designed and funded to address this increase in economic insecurity and population growth among the 65 + cohort, it is imperative that the 2020 Census be filled out by everyone.
We have prepared the StateWide Economic Security Charts for the entire state and for each county. If you would like to see your county’s statistics, please go to our website, www.nysenior.org. If you would like to view the NYS Comparison of Elder Income vs Economic Insecurity Factors for 2018 click here. If you are not able to get to a computer, please call us and we can mail it to you.
It’s time to TAKE ACTION and BE COUNTED!