Monday, December 23, 2019

How to Complete Your Census 2020 Form if You're a Snowbird!

The 2020 Census is fast approaching and many residents of Herkimer and Oneida Counties may find themselves wintering elsewhere when Census Day, April 1st, 2020, arrives!

Don't make the mistake of being counted Florida, or Arizona, or any other state than New York !

According to Census Bureau regulations, ALL people living in the US are to be counted "where they usually reside." Your "usual residence" means where you stay the majority of the year - think of it as where you stay for at least six months and one day.

For many of our residents this mean Herkimer and Oneida Counties! While you may spend a couple months sheltering from the winter in Florida, you spend most of the year enjoying all that upstate New York and the Mohawk Valley has to offer!

By making sure that you fill out your census form with your local Herkimer County or Oneida County address, you ensure we get our fair share of federal transportation aid, medicaid, educational support and much, much more. It also helps us all get the fair representation in Washington that we need and deserve!

So when Census 2020 comes around on April 1st, remember YOU COUNT IN HERKIMER AND ONEIDA COUNTIES!

If you have questions about how to fill out your 2020 Census, contact me at

Monday, July 29, 2019

Older Herkimer County Residents and Their Home Living Arrangements

Herkimer County, like  much of New York State, has seen its population age as the Baby Boom generation ages. Since the 2010, the median age of residents in the County has increased from 42.2 years of age or 43.7 years of age.

Of the nearly 63,000 people that live in Herkimer County, more than a quarter (26%) are age 60 or older. The vast majority of these older residents (96%) live in households; less than 600 currently live in group quarters such as nursing homes, etc., located within the county.

The types of households older people live in can be broken into two categories: family households and nonfamily households.

Family Households typically involve (a) a married couple who may be living with other relatives such as their children; (b) a female headed household with no husband present, or (c) a male headed household with no wife present.

About 56% of all residents 60 or older live in family households. The graphic below shows the current distribution among those 60 years old or older among Family Households.

NonFamily Households are typically either a person living alone, or someone living with another person who isn't their spouse and is also a non-relative. About 44% of the County's population age 60 and over live in NonFamily Households. Again, shown below is a graphic depicting those living in NonFamily Households distribution between the two types of living arrangements in this category.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Anticipating the 2020 Census Count in Herkimer County

With the 2020 Census coming up in about EIGHT MONTHS, it will be interesting to see if a troubling pattern in the population estimates program continues to manifest itself.

Looking at the chart below, the data comes from two sources. The first, represented by the dotted line, are the population estimates for Herkimer County over the last 20 years. The Population Estimates program is run by the Census Bureau and provides an annual "estimate" of the population based largely on the number of local births, deaths, and migration that occurred within, in this case, Herkimer County.

The second source of data are the two spikes - one for the 2000 Census and one for the 2010 Census. These come from the census counts (which in reality are technically estimates as well) which were produced as a result of the massive decennial census efforts. A similar effort will be part of the 2020 Census.

If you look at the estimates in the chart below (the dotted lines) it's interesting how, over the 10 year span between decennial censuses these estimates appear to follow a pattern. As the decade progresses, the estimates seem to have had an historical tendency to undercount Herkimer County's population.

The difference between the 1999 Estimate and the 2000 Census is around 1.7%. This suggests that the estimate program was off by as many as a thousand people from what the actual population (as determined by the 2000 Census) was.

And again, after what appeared to be a decade of declining population between 2000 and 2009, lo and behold, the 2010 decennial census shows that the county population had risen slightly from the prior decennial number. The Estimate for 2009 was more than 2,200 people short of what was found in the 2010 Census, and underestimate of nearly 4% .

So now we come to 2018 and the most recent population estimate in the chart. The 2018 estimate suggests Herkimer County has lost as many as 2,700 people since the 2010 Census - BUT IS THIS ACCURATE? Historically, the estimates data has a track record of underestimating the county's population. The reasons for this are not clear, but the pattern is troubling.

Come next year, or early 2021, when the Census Bureau releases its counts for Herkimer County, it wouldn't be surprising to see that the Estimates Program had again underestimated the actual population of the area and an updated version of this chart would show another upward leap from the the 2019 estimate to the 2020 Census count.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Cost Burdened Households by Income Levels in Herkimer County

Households where 30 percent or more of the household income is used for housing costs are considered "cost burdened" by the US Housing and Urban Development Office. They may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care because so much of their income is needed for direct housing costs.

The chart below shows how households with lower incomes struggle with the burden of housing costs. For example, more than three out of every four households (77%) where household income is $20,000 or less are cost burdened - they spend more than 30% of their income of housing costs. But among households where their income is between $50,000 and $75,000 less than one in ten (8%) are cost burdened - households with greater income levels are less likely to spend 30% or more of their income on housing.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Top Five Ancestries of Herkimer County Residents (2017)

The chart below represents the top five ancestral heritages identified by Herkimer County residents, based on the 2017 Five Year ACS Estimates.  Note that these are the top FIVE ancestries - they total about 75% of the County's population. The remaining 25% are spread across MANY other ethnic identifications!