In Arkansas and Tennessee, 1 in 20 residents missed out on the U.S. headcount

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About 1 in 20 residents of Arkansas and Tennessee were missed in the 2020 census, and four other U.S. states had significant population undercounts that could deprive them of federal funding in the decade ahead. course, according to figures from a US Census survey. Office released Thursday.

In Florida and Texas, the undercount also appears to have cost them seats in Congress.

On the other hand, residents of eight states were overestimated in the once-a-decade count that is used to allocate political power and federal funding. In Minnesota and Rhode Island, overcounts appear to have saved them from losing congressional seats.

In the remaining 36 states and the District of Columbia, overcounts and undercounts were not statistically significant. Undercounts indicate that people were missed, and overcounts suggest that they were counted more than once.

Figures released Thursday from the post-census survey serve as a flashback to how residents of all 50 states and the District of Columbia were counted in a census that faced unprecedented hurdles from a pandemic, hurricanes and wildfires, social unrest and political interference by the Trump administration.

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

States that did a better job of making residents count gained greater representation in the Electoral College and Congress, or did not lose expected seats in the House of Representatives. They are also better positioned for the annual distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funding over the next decade.

Nothing can be done at this point to alter the number of congressional seats distributed among states, nor can the data used to redraw congressional districts be adjusted.

Thursday’s release did not break down the quality of the 2020 census work at the state level by demographic traits, but a national bulletin released in March showed the black population in the 2020 census had an undercount. net of 3.3%, while it was almost 5% for Hispanics and 5.6% for American Indians and Alaska Natives living on reservations. Those who identified with another race had a net undercount of 4.3%. The non-Hispanic white population had a net overcoverage of 1.6% and Asians had a net overcoverage of 2.6%, according to the results.

Academics and civil rights leaders are lobbying the Census Bureau to change annual population estimates that have traditionally used census figures as a basis, and instead use other data sources to produce a more accurate portrait of underappreciated racial and ethnic communities for numbers that help determine the distribution of federal funds. The Census Bureau has set up a team to explore this.

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

Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and Texas have not allocated as many resources as other states to encouraging residents to fill out census forms. Mississippi spent about $400,000 and Illinois allocated $29 million for these efforts. Historically, undercounted groups are racial and ethnic minorities, renters and young children.

Texas and Florida, two of the fastest growing states over the past decade, were expected to gain more congressional seats from the 2020 census than they actually did. Florida won just one more seat and Texas only got two more.

Florida’s undercount translates to about 750,600 missed residents, and analysis by Election Data Services shows the Sunshine State only needed about 171,500 more residents to get an extra seat. The undercount in Texas translates to about 560,000 residents, while analysis from Election Data Services indicates that Texas only needs an additional 189,000 residents to secure 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 the census form could have had a chilling effect on the participation of Hispanics, immigrants and others. .

It was a different story for states where residents were overcounted, such as Minnesota and Rhode Island. Minnesota was awarded the 435th and final congressional seat in the House of Representatives; if Minnesota had had 26 fewer people, that seat would have gone to New York. Minnesota’s 3.8% overcount was about 219,000.

In Rhode Island, the 5% overcoverage translates to more than 55,000 people. He would have lost a seat if 19,000 fewer residents had been counted, according to Election Data Services.

Other states with overcounts were Hawaii, at nearly 6.8%; Delaware, 5.4%; New York, 3.4%; Utah, at almost 2.6%; Massachusetts, 2.2%; and Ohio, nearly 1.5%.

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