Organizations Sound Alarm Over Serious Undercount of Latinos in 2020 Census

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The first official estimate of the 2020 Census accuracy reveals a national Latino undercount of 4.99 percent, which is significantly higher than the 2010 Census. This is why organizations such as The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) have sounded the alarm about a serious undercount of Latinos in the latest count.

Latino representation in critical counts such as the Census remains inaccurate. The risk of this undercount will be reflected in our decision-making power in the coming years.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released alarming 2020 Census figures last week as well as the initial results of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) which revealed massive undercounting of the Latino population.

The PES is the Census Bureau’s first official estimate of the accuracy of the 2020 Census. It is a statistical analysis of a survey of the nation’s population. Comparing the PES data with the 2020 Census data determines who was omitted or miscounted in the 2020 Census.

The PSA data released last week reveals that the 2020 Census undercounted 4.99 percent of the Latino population, up 3.45 percentage points from 1.54 percent in the 2010 Census.

Moreover, the increase in this undercount is more than three times that of the 2010 Census.

The Census Bureau determines the estimated net undercount for the nation as a whole by examining various components of the enumeration, including misenumerations (such as duplicates) and omissions.

The net undercount of the Latino population includes 10.5% omissions.

“A 2020 Census that more than tripled the percentage of undercounted Latinos from Census 2010 is completely unacceptable and further demonstrates the dire need for our nation to make fundamental changes in how we count U.S. residents,” said NALEO Educational Fund CEO Arturo Vargas in a statement. “It is time for a new, modern approach to enhance the census’ accuracy.”

“Data from the 2020 Census have already been used to apportion the U.S. House of Representatives and for redistricting, despite the considerable flaws in the number of Latinos,” Vargas explained. “Unless the numbers are corrected in some fashion, these data will now also guide the distribution of more than $1.5 trillion in federal funding annually to states and localities based on an incorrect snapshot of our population.  The potential misallocation of these resources could have a detrimental effect on our schools, healthcare systems, infrastructure, and programs essential for the future prosperity and well-being of Latino families and all of our nation’s residents.”