Florida population undercounted in 2020, census survey says

WASHINGTON (AP) – About 1 in 20 residents in Arkansas and Tennessee missed out on the 2020 census, and four other U.S. states have significantly low populations that could shift the source. federal funding for the current decade, according to data from a survey the US Census Bureau released on Thursday.

In Florida and Texas, lower amounts also seem to cost them congressional seats.

On the other hand, residents in eight states were exceeded in the number of heads once a decade used to allocate political power and federal funding. In Minnesota and Rhode Island, the high numbers seem to have kept them from losing their congressional seats.

In the remaining 36 states and the District of Columbia, the excess and deficit were not statistically significant. A low count signals people have been missed. Excessive numbers indicate they have been counted multiple times, such as children of divorced parents sharing custody or those staying at vacation homes.

Figures released Thursday from the Post-Registration Survey serve as a report card on the extent to which people in the 50 states and the District of Columbia count in the census face with unprecedented obstacles from pandemics, hurricanes and wildfires, social unrest and political interference by the Trump administration.

The survey re-interviews a sample of residents and compares those results with the census to see “what we did right and what we did wrong,” said Timothy Kennel, Census Bureau official. population said.

States that did a better job of attracting residents scored higher in the Electoral College and congressional representation, or didn’t lose the projected number of seats in the House. They are also better positioned to distribute $1.5 trillion in federal funding annually over the next decade.

Nothing can be done at this time to change the number of congressional seats allocated between states, and the data used to redraw congressional districts cannot be adjusted either.

Thursday’s release wasn’t segregated by the demographics of how well the 2020 census performed at the state level, but a national report card released in March shows significantly low numbers for the Black and Hispanic populations, as well as for those identified as well as certain other races and American Indians and Alaska Natives living on reservation .

Academic and civil rights leaders are urging the Census Bureau to revise annual population estimates that have traditionally used census figures as a basis and incorporate other data sources. To create a more accurate portrait of racial and ethnic communities is undercounted for the numbers that help determine the distribution of federal funding. The Census Bureau has formed a team to explore this.

Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Illinois had lowers of 5%, 4.8%, 4.1% and 1.9%, respectively, while Florida and Texas had lowers of nearly 3.5% and 1.9%, respectively. 9%.

Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas don’t direct as many resources as other states in encouraging people to fill out census forms. Mississippi spent about $400,000, and Illinois allocated $29 million to those efforts. Historically, low-income groups have been racial and ethnic minorities, renters, and young children.

In a statement, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison said he wanted more details on his state’s shortage, especially since Arkansas has grown by more than 95,000 residents in the decade and surpassed it for the first time. 3 million residents.

Demographer Allison Plyer also observed that Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee had the highest percentages of households without a computer or internet. The 2020 census is the first census in which most participants are encouraged to fill out an online form.

Plyer, head of demographics for the Data Center in New Orleans, said: “Strengthening efforts can make a big difference, even if your community has poor Internet access and is less likely to be able to. respond to the census. “In places where states are prioritized, over numbers, it seems to have made a difference.”

Florida’s shortfall equates to about 750,600 residents missed out, and an analysis by the Election Data Service found that Sunshine State only needed about 171,500 more residents to get an extra seat. The lower number in Texas corresponds to about 560,000 residents, while analysis by the Election Data Service shows that Texas only needs 189,000 more residents to win another congressional seat.

Hispanics make up more than a quarter of Florida’s population and nearly 40% of Texas residents, and critics say the Trump administration’s failed efforts to add a citizenship question to its regulatory form The census may have affected the participation of Hispanics, immigrants, and others. .

Arturo Vargas, CEO of the NALEO Education Foundation, said there was “a great need” for information on the lack and overpopulation of racial and ethnic groups in smaller geographic areas than states, particularly in places like Texas, where Hispanics are more likely to be.

Given the inaccuracies in the figures, he said, there is a real risk of an unfair distribution of congressional seats between states.

“If we don’t know below the state level, we can’t understand the extent of that error,” Vargas said.

It’s a different story for states that are overpopulated, like Minnesota and Rhode Island. Minnesota was allocated the 435th and final congressional seat in the House of Representatives; If Minnesota counts fewer than 26 people, that seat will be moved to New York. Minnesota’s 3.8% excess numbered about 219,000 residents.

Other states with the number of passersby were Hawaii, at nearly 6.8%; Delaware, at 5.4%; New York, at 3.4%; Utah, nearly 2.6%; Massachusetts, at 2.2%; and Ohio, close to 1.5%.

In Rhode Island, a figure exceeding 5% corresponds to more than 55,000 residents. According to the Election Data Service, a seat is lost if less than 19,000 residents are counted.

John Marion, executive director of government monitoring group Common Cause Rhode Island, said it was difficult to pinpoint exactly why Rhode Island had such a large population. “There have been significant outreach efforts, and this state has a large population that goes home in the summer, but the same applies to other states,” he said.

“We are basically the lucky ones to benefit from a statistical anomaly,” says Marion. “And as a result, we’ll have more representation in Congress in 10 years.”

https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/florida-had-significant-undercount-of-population-census-survey-says/ Florida population undercounted in 2020, census survey says

Alley Einstein

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