Challenges threatening the upcoming 2020 census could risk more than 4 million people to be missing from next year’s national head count, according to new projections from the Urban Institute, reports NPR.
The nonpartisan think tank found that the danger of an inaccurate census could hit some of the country’s most difficult-to-count populations the hardest. Based on the Urban Institute’s analysis, the 2020 census could lead to the worst undercount of Black and Latinx people in the U.S. since 1990. “Miscounts of this magnitude will have real consequences for the next decade, including how we fund programs for children and invest in our infrastructure,” says Diana Elliott, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute who co-wrote the report released Tuesday.
Nationally, Black residents could be undercounted by as much as 3.68 percent. “That doesn’t sound terribly high, but when you realize that that’s 1.7 million people, that’s a lot of people to be missed in the overall count,” Elliott explains. The Urban Institute also projects as many as 2.2 million (3.57 percent) Latinos and Latinas around the U.S. could be left out of the 2020 census as well. Children younger than 5 — another hard-to-count group — also face an undercount as high as 6.31 percent, or about 1.3 million young children..