Latinos are a huge chunk of the overall population in the US, a little over 51 million, but that number failed to include a very important group of our population – children. Many Latino children were undercounted in the 2010 Census, which lead to the loss of money for special programs that help our communities.
Texas, California, New York, Arizona, and Florida are states that account for 70 percent of the undercount of 400,000 children ages 0 to 4, according to a report by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund and Child Trends Hispanic Institute.
To repeat, that’s at least 400,000 Latinos!
A precise count helps the government decide how to funnel the more than $400 billion of federal money to community programs, such as Head Start and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). This money is also used for bus routes set up by school districts around the country. And, most importantly, districts are based on population, so the more people there are in a certain district, the more representation those districts have in Washington.
So how the heck were these children not accounted for?
The reason for the undercount is not exactly known, but some of the reasons, according to the report, are that some families don’t think their children should be counted because they’re too young. Some families are extremely mobile and don’t live in a place long enough to be accounted for. Others are multigenerational families and only count the adults rather than everyone in the family.
“The persistent undercount of the nation’s second largest population group is a civil rights issue,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO.
“Unless we bring Latino youth out of the shadows and into the light in Census 2020, the Latino community will continue to have disproportionate access to fair political representation and public services. We must make the investments necessary today to ensure a full and accurate count of Latino children tomorrow,” he said.
So in 2020, when someone knocks on your door asking how many people live in your house, don’t be afraid and give the exact number, that just means we get more monay, monay!
Read more about the undercount of our children here
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