The U.S. Census Bureau has released survey results showing that in the 2020 census, exactly 14 states were counted.

As the U.S. biennial count determines how many votes and seats in the House of Representatives each state receives, as well as how federal funding is distributed annually, the effects of this understatement and overstatement will be felt in terms of political power and resources through the next census. population in 2030.

Six states were understated and eight states enrolled.

Here are some background details – and potential questions – you can use in your own report on how well the residents of the 50 states and District of Columbia were taken into account, potentially running next to AP history, the U.S. 2020 census, which was postponed to Thursday.


Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi Florida 5%, 4.8%, 4.1% and 3.5% were underestimated, respectively, while Illinois and Texas had an underestimation of 1.9%. On the other hand, in Hawaii there were excesses of almost 6.8%; Rhode Island, 5%; Delaware, by 5.4%; Minnesota, by 3.8%; New York, by 3.4%; Utah, nearly 2.6%; Massachusetts, up 2.2%; and Ohio, by almost 1.5%.

In the remaining 36 states and the District of Columbia, overstated and underestimated estimates were not statistically significant.


The lack of signals people missed. Inflated estimates suggest that they were counted more than once, such as children of divorced parents who are in foster care, or people with holiday homes. Historically, the disadvantaged groups are racial and ethnic minorities, tenants and young children. The lack of Internet access and the amount of resources that states allocate to encourage residents to complete the census form may also have played a role in underestimating the population of these primarily southern states.


States that have done better in counting residents have scored higher on the Electoral College and Congress or have not lost expected seats in House of Representatives. They are also now better placed for an annual distribution of $ 1.5 trillion in federal funding over the next decade.

At this point, nothing can be done to change the number of seats in Congress distributed between states, nor can the data used to restructure constituencies in Congress be adjusted.

Academics and civil rights leaders are pushing the Census Bureau to set up annual population estimates that have traditionally used census figures as a basis, and to include other data sources to get a more accurate portrait of unlisted racial and ethnic communities for figures to help determine federal distributions. The Census Bureau has set up a group to study this.


– Find out how much federal funding your community receives and what the breakdown is for schools, roads and other federal-dependent programs. A good place to start is a report published by the George Washington University Institute for Public Policy: https://gwipp.gwu.edu/counting-dollars-2020-role-decennial-census-geographic-distribution-federal-funds.

Also, talk to city or transportation planners or the City Hall about how federal funding affects important projects in your community and how population changes will change that funding.

– Determine if certain groups of the population were underestimated or overestimated in your community.

The Census Bureau does not release underestimation and census data below the state level, and does not break down demographically how well the 2020 census did at the state level. But the national report card in March showed significant underestimation of blacks and Hispanics, as well as those who identify themselves as some other races and Native Americans and Alaska Natives living in reservations.

A good start to the comparison is to check the demographic profiles of your community based on the 2020 census with other estimates, such as a 5-year U.S. Census Bureau survey or with estimates by government researchers such as the Bureau of Economic and Business Research for Florida. If there are noticeable differences in these data sets broken down by demographics, then there is a high probability that these populations were underestimated or overestimated. Just remember, look for significant differences. Small discrepancies are expected as different methodologies are used.

– Find out if your community believes that it was accurately calculated during the 2020 census, and if it plans to appeal. The Census Bureau has created a program that allows communities to challenge the results of the 2020 census. So far, more than two dozen cities, towns, tribal areas and villages have filed appeals in the operation to resolve issues on the count, and communities have until the middle of next year to submit their applications.


Localization This is a recurring feature released by the Associated Press for use by customers. Questions can be directed to Ted Anthony at tanthony@ap.org.

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