The 2020 Census Was Undercounted

In March of 2022, the United States Census Bureau website released results from two analyses about the quality of the 2020 Census counts. One analysis was from the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) and the other was from the Demographic Analysis Estimates (DA). 

Both studies estimated how well the 2020 Census counted everyone in the nation and in certain demographic groups.They estimate the size of the U.S. population and compare those estimates to the census counts. 

“Today’s results show statistical evidence that the quality of the 2020 Census total population count is consistent with that of recent censuses. This is notable, given the unprecedented challenges of 2020,” said Director Robert L. Santos. “But the results also include some limitations – the 2020 Census undercounted many of the same population groups we have historically undercounted, and it overcounted others.”

According to the United States Census Bureau, the results of the 2020 Census undercounted the Black or African American population, the American Indian or Alaska Native population living on a reservation, the Hispanic or Latino population, and people who reported being of Some Other Race. 

On the other hand (according to the United States Census Bureau) the 2020 Census overcounted the Non-Hispanic White population and the Asian population. The Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population was neither overcounted nor undercounted, according to the findings. Among age groups, the 2020 Census undercounted children 0 to 17 years old, particularly young children 0-4 years old. 

This is a big deal for genealogists! The census is supposed to be an accurate enumeration of the number of people, where they live, their occupation, age, gender, and more. If the 2020 Census is inaccurate, it will make filling out a family tree harder for future genealogists, decades from now, to find the family information they need.

The Hill reported (in April of 2022) that a group of 45 House Democrats are calling on the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau to lay out a plan to address undercounts in the 2020 Census, which could malaportion billions of dollars in federal funding over the next decade. The lawmakers expressed concerns about how the undercounts of ethnic and racial groups will affect federal programs over the next decade.

In addition, The Hill reported that a group of 22 Democratic Senators also called on the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau to find ways to fix the undercount of Hispanic, Black, and American Indian populations in the 2020 Census.

It is worth pointing out that the 2020 Census was taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. This could have made it harder for enumerators to contact everyone and gather data. It is important for the census to be accurate. Hopefully, a solution to rectify the undercount can be implemented.

Related Articles at

The 2020 Census Has Funding Problems

U.S. 2020 Census Apportionment Results

2020 Census Revealed a More MultiRacial United States

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