Census Data Raises Questions About a Potential Undercount of Hispanics

The Census Bureau’s congressional apportionment data raised questions about whether Hispanics were undercounted in the 2020 census, The Washington Post reports.

States with large Hispanic populations like Texas, Florida, and Arizona saw significantly lower population counts than the Census Bureau projected last year, resulting in one fewer seat apiece for Texas and Florida and no additional seats at all for Arizona despite its population growing over 11% in the last decade.

Besides House seats and Electoral College votes, the apportionment also has significant implications for the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funding.

But not all states had undercounts. Other states with large Hispanic populations, like California, New York, and New Mexico finished with population counts similar to those in the earlier projections.

Arturo Vargas, chief executive of NALEO Educational Fund, told the Post that California, New Mexico, and New York invested in outreach efforts while Texas waited until the last minute and Arizona and Florida did not invest at all.

Dems blame Trump:

The census faced unprecedented delays as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters. But it also faced political interference as former President Donald Trump sought to add a citizenship question -- which was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court -- and shortened the timeline for the count.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, the chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, suggested that the undercount was likely the result of Trump’s “shameful” handling of the census.

“I just wonder if it had the impact of suppressing the count,” he said.

More data will be released in August:

It’s difficult to tell whether an undercount of Hispanics affected the overall count until the Census Bureau releases additional race and ethnicity data in August.

“Nothing looked terribly outside of expectations or historical patterns,” Chris Dick, a former Census Bureau statistician and branch chief, told the Post. “I think we have to be careful. I don’t think we have enough information to say the census was flawed, but I don’t think we have enough information to say the census was a success.”

The Census Bureau said that the “degree of difference is largely consistent with what we have seen in the past” and preliminary analysis should not be taken as “an assessment of the accuracy or reasonableness of the 2020 Census results.”


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