Census May Have Undercounted More Than a Million People

By Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.
November 8, 2021 Updated: November 8, 2021

The 2020 Census may have missed more than a million people, according to a new study by the Urban Institute.

The report (pdf) revealed the undercount was “not as severe as expected,” but those who were missed could have an important impact on the nation.

For example, both Mississippi and Texas were reportedly undercounted, leading to receiving less federal funding in key areas.

“We find that the true total populations of Mississippi and Texas were undercounted in our simulated 2020 Census by 1.3 and 1.28 percent, respectively, while Minnesota’s population was net overcounted by 0.76 percent,” the Urban Institute reported.

“If the residents had been counted accurately in the 2020 Census, Texas would receive over $247 million more and Minnesota would receive $156 million less in 2021 federal Medicaid reimbursements,” the report added.

Overall, the report noted a likely undercount of half a percent to the overall U.S. population. Though the percentage was higher than in 2010, the Urban Institute observed the undercount was “not as severe as some have feared.”

The segments of people undercounted were also important. Top areas included black and Hispanic residents, renters and households with noncitizens.

The highest segment of those undercounted included children younger than five years old. The segment was considered undercounted by 4.86 percent.

Those defined as “noncitizens” in the study were likely undercounted by 3.36 percent, representing the next largest group.

The low count of noncitizens may be connected widespread reporting of moves by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question, which was ultimately not added.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund pointed out that the undercount could have a negative impact on electoral districts.

“Not only do we have the challenge of gerrymanders for race and partisan purposes, that seek to minimize Latino electoral potential, but it’s adding insult to injury that the numbers don’t even take into full account the Latino population,” the group’s CEO, Arturo Vargas, told Roll Call.

Between the 2010 and 2020 Census, Hispanics jumped from 50 to 62 million.

Renters were especially overlooked, with an estimated 2.13 percent undercount. Areas with larger numbers of rental units could also be at a disadvantage, such as college towns or other locations with seasonal turnover.

The impact of COVID-19 was also noted in the report. “Communities hardest hit by COVID-19 early in the pandemic tended to be those inhabited by the hardest to count, including areas with lower incomes and Black and Hispanic/Latinx communities,” it said.

Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.