Things That Matter

The 2020 Census Will Include A Question Asking About Citizenship And It Will Be Disastrous For Our Community

On April 1, 2020, the U.S. government will tally all of the people that live in the United States, but not everyone will be counted. The purpose of the Census — which take place every ten years — is to properly account for everyone that lives in the U.S. in order to have a correct figure in place for funding purposes, research, and have accurate statistics of all residents.

A new study reveals that more than 4 million people will go uncounted in the 2020 Census and that would be disastrous for the country.

Credit: @mariancruz905 / Twitter

The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan organization, showed that the leading group that could be lost within the Census would be black and brown people.

“Every American should be counted, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, income or where they live,” Diana Elliott, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, said in a statement to NBC News. “The Census is a key building block of our government and our society at the national, state, and local level. Miscounts of this magnitude will have real consequences for the next decade, including how we fund programs for children and invest in our infrastructure.”

At the core of the issue is that some communities are difficult to reach while others won’t fill it out due to fear of discrimination or deportation.

Credit: @desiderioDC / Twitter

The report shows that most communities with white people are estimated to be over-counted by Census workers, where black and brown communities go under-counted.

It’s also no secret that the Trump administration seeks to add a citizenship question as well, which is currently under ligation. The Trump Administration has said they added that question in order to avoid voter fraud, but Latinx and immigration advocates the question will hurt states where immigrants and undocumented people live.

“These newly discovered documents clearly show the Trump Administration intended for the 2020 Census’ citizenship question to intimidate communities of color and silence us from participating in our democracy,” Democratic lawmakers said in a press release statement. “Furthermore, throughout the legal fights since Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ decision to add the citizenship question, this Administration has intentionally lied to the American people and Congress about their dubious intentions for altering the Census. The proof of their motivation has come to light, and it demonstrates with incontrovertible evidence that this Administration is working to undermine the foundations of our government. The results of the Census will change the course of our country for the next decade. It will decide how much federal funding communities receive, who is represented in Congress, and what kind of country the next generation inherits.”

The report shows the states that face the most discrepancies include California, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Georgia, New York, and Florida.

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Here are some of their key findings:

  • The undercount of the US population overall in 2020 could range from 0.27 percent in the low-risk scenario to 1.22 percent in the high-risk scenario.
  • Some states face a greater risk of undercounts because they have large populations of historically undercounted groups. California has the greatest undercount risk, with projected 2020 undercounts ranging from 0.95 percent (low risk) to 1.98 percent (high risk). Other states at risk for serious undercount are Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Georgia, New York, and Florida.
  • The miscounts may disproportionately affect some groups more than others. Black and Hispanic/Latinx-identified individuals in the high-risk scenario could be undercounted nationally by 3.68 percent and 3.57 percent, respectively.
  • White, non-Hispanic/Latinx individuals could be overcounted nationally by 0.03 percent in the high-risk scenario. States with the greatest potential for overcounts include Vermont, West Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, and Montana. These states have large populations of white, non-Hispanic/Latinx residents.
  • Children younger than 5, who have historically been undercounted, are at risk of being undercounted by as much as 6.31 percent in the high-risk scenario.

READ: Latinos Face Severe Underrepresentation With 2020 Census, Here’s Why That Matters

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