TX One of Six States that Undercounted Population in 2020 Census
Monday, May 23, 2022
A new report found Texas likely undercounted the number of people who actually live in the state when gathering information for the 2020 census.
The census guides where federal money -- some $1.5 trillion -- is spent based on population. Texas was one of six states showing an undercount, while eight states showed an overcount.
Thomas Wolf, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, said the new data will not change the population numbers used for Congressional reapportionment or redistricting, but can have a direct effect on people's well-being.
"If your state goes undercounted, there's a risk that you'll end up with less funding than you should for things like education, health care, food assistance, highways," Wolf outlined. "Basically, the whole infrastructure of your community and state."
Before the census, advocates warned of a significant undercount in the Latino population after the Trump administration tried to add a question about citizenship to the census. Although the question eventually was excluded, experts say it could have triggered lower response rates from Latinos.
California, the most populous U.S. state, did not have a significant population undercount in the census, but Wolf noted it also spent $187 million in supplemental census outreach, while Texas declined to spend any money on outreach.
"The decision itself, regardless of the motivation, is sort of penny wise/pound-foolish," Wolf remarked. "Yes, you save money from not investing in census outreach, but what you get in return is an undercount that then deprives you of millions of federal dollars."
According to the Urban Institute, if the residents of Texas had been counted accurately in 2020, the state would have received at least $247 million more in 2021 federal Medicaid reimbursements. Other states among the top six likely undercounting their population include Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi and Tennessee.
get more stories like this via email
The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…
Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…
Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …
By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…
The Biden administration has proposed a rule to limit methane flaring from oil and gas development on public lands. The rule would impose royalty …
The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …
As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …
2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …