MALDEF Northeast Regional Office

Approach to Census 2010 Complete Count -
Challenges and Opportunities

MALDEF is committed to making Census 2010 a successful count of Latinos in the United States and to enhance our sense of civic pride among our communities as we participate in the Census 2010.

Our approach for an effective 2010 Census campaign is to target the “hard-to-count” (HTC) areas of our region.¹ and based on a grassroots strategy targeting designated “hard-to-count” counties, by:

  1. Partnering with and empowering grassroots entities (non-profit groups, community businesses, and faith-based organizations) that have the direct contact with hard-to-count populations;
  2. Partnering with elected officials to promote the 2010 Census and educate the community at the state and local levels; and
  3. Broadcasting bilingual promotional information (English and Spanish) via the radio and television and at large events.

We know that our biggest return on our efforts will be through collaborating with trusted groups and agencies that provide direct services to and have regular contact with hard-to-count families and individuals.


MALDEF’s Northeast Region is diverse in geography and national origins. The 13-state region includes Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The region includes some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country: New York, Boston, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, all of which have large established Latino communities. However, it also includes smaller cities, suburbs, and rural areas with burgeoning Latino populations, such as Maine, upstate New York, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Northeast is extremely diverse in terms of the national origins of its Latino communities. The D.C. area, for example, has a very large and prominent Salvadoran community. New York has well-established Puerto Rican and Dominican enclaves. Mexicans, South Americans, and even indigenous peoples from Central America have grown in population throughout the eastern seaboard as well. If we do our job to get everyone counted for the 2010 Census, we will learn much more about the rapidly diversifying and growing Latino communities of the Northeast so we can best provide for and empower the people.

Population Profile of MALDEF Northeast Region States and Hard-to-Count Populations

Some facts about the region:

Education: Twice as many native-born Latinos (40%) are enrolled in college as foreign-born Latinos (20%). This plays out in a variety of ways in the Northeast. From this statistic, you could imagine that more established communities such as Puerto Ricans in New York or Cubans in New Jersey have higher rates of education than newly arrived communities, such as migrant farmworkers in Erie County, NY. Our outreach must be tailored according to the education levels of each community.

Health: The region had, as of 2008, 11.6% of its population uninsured. This percentage has surely increased due to the recession, leading many people, especially Latinos who live in low-income areas, to access health clinics, Medicaid, and other resources. However, these resources are stretched thin and will be difficult to maintain at current capacity without further government intervention and aid.

Poverty: The Northeast includes some of the wealthiest areas of the country (Maryland, for example, has the highest median income), as well as some of the poorest (Washington, D.C. has a 17.8% poverty rate for individuals, over 4% above the national average. We are facing tighter budgets in many areas due to the recession, which means less municipal resources for census outreach, forcing us to be more creative in partnering with local agencies and organizations.

Source: American Fact Finder,

Housing: The Northeast has some of the most expensive property and housing in the country. While not the worst area of the country in terms of foreclosures, it has suffered significantly and in many areas well above the national average. Every state in the region has faced substantial rates of foreclosures, with the exception of Vermont. Latinos in particular have been hit hard, with the state of Virginia being ranked the number 10 state in the country for foreclosures, many of which were in Latino neighborhoods in the northern part of the state.

Because You Count, Get Counted!
!Cuéntate…Porque Tú Vales!

In March you will receive the Census 2010 questionnaire at your home. Forms will be available in English and in over 50 languages. They are easy to fill out and must be mailed back by April 1, 2010 (Census Day). Take this chance to make a difference for your family and your community!

  • January & Febuary: Census campaign in full gear. Information on TV, Radio, and community events
  • March: Census forms are mailed or delivered to homes.
  • APRIL 1: Census Day!
  • May, June & July: Census workers visit homes that did not mail in questionnaires.

Click here to download the Northeast Census Palm Card

For more information or to find out how MALDEF and your organization can partner to count Latinos in your community, contact:

Matt Adler
1016 16th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 293-2828

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund