The 2020 Census Undercounted Latino, Black, and Native American Populations

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and 16 other Senate colleagues in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Commerce and Census Bureau to provide answers on what they are doing to address the decades-long problem of undercounting communities of color across the country – a problem the Trump administration intentionally made worse while the 2020 Census was being conducted.

According to the Census’ post-enumeration report, the 2020 Census undercounted the Hispanic or Latino population by nearly 5%. Black or African American individuals were uncounted by 3.3%, and American Indian or Alaska Natives in reservations were undercounted by 5.64% – the most significant undercount margin of all demographic groups. 

“We write to you with serious concerns about the 2020 Census and its undercounting of Hispanic or Latino, Black, and Native American individuals,” wrote the Senators. “This report revealed an undercount of Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Some Other Race populations.”

The Senators concluded by focusing on how the undercounting of Latino, Black and Native American individuals deeply affects already disadvantaged and underserved communities.

“As you are aware, an accurate decennial census is not only a constitutional responsibility of the federal government, but its results determine the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, guide the allocation of nearly $1.5 trillion in federal funds annually, and are used to draw legislative districts within the states,” the Senators’ letter concluded. “We ask the U.S. Census Bureau to consider ways to correct the undercount in the annual population estimates derived from 2020 Census data and reiterate its commitment to counting all persons in future decennial censuses.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.

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