Census Undercount Leads to Underfunding in Bushwick

The consequence of population undercounting has finally reared its head in neighborhoods like Bushwick – leaving countless immigrants without necessary care and basic services.

Feet in Two Worlds reports that after suffering an arm injury, Manuel Zuniga, a recent Ecuadorian immigrant, didn’t get much help from Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Bushwick. Instead, he was referred to a hospital in Manhattan – one that is better funded, even though there are two medical centers conveniently located in his neighborhood.

The low participation of Bushwick locals in the 2000 Census is one explanation for the poor funding of a highly populated neighborhood like Bushwick. According to the article, less than 40 percent of actual residents were counted during the 2000 Census, causing a shortage of funds for numerous services like medical care, public housing, schools, and even transportation. It appears that the reluctance of immigrants to partake in Census surveys is correlated with fears of being deported, but elected officials like State Assemblyman Vito Lopez believe it is essential to have a more accurate count this year, since the lives of thousands clearly depend on it. To read the full story, click here.

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