There are more Latinos, Blacks, and Native Americans in the United States than the 2020 census published. There are also fewer Whites and Asians. That is the conclusion reached by an analytical survey published this Thursday by the government office itself. About 18.8 million residents were undercounted, either by double counting, wrongly including or missing. The authorities in charge of the sample have clarified that the total population of 323 million is still correct.
The downward adjustment of the Latino community, considered “statistically significant”, was 4.99% in 2020, triple that of 2010. The black population was underrepresented at 3.3% and Native Americans at 5.6% , more than a decade ago, but not significantly. Non-Hispanic whites were overcounted by 1.6%, twice as much as in 2010, and Asians by 2.6%, according to one of the analyzes commissioned by the Census Bureau, which has already announced that it will not adjust the published figures last August, but that it will use the data to improve the 2030 count.
Among the milestones revealed by the 2020 count is the one that, for the first time since 1790, the white population decreased. Its weight has fallen by 8.6% in the last decade to 57.8% (204.3 million, almost one million less than in 2010). Another is that people who identify as African American, Latino, Asian or mixed race have increased, drawing the most diverse demographic in US history, which is especially reflected among those under 18 years of age.
Census figures are used by state legislatures or independent panels to redraw electoral maps. The official goal is to ensure that each district has approximately the same amount of population and to ensure the representativeness of racial minorities. Therefore, an underrepresentation can affect this purpose. They are also used to divvy up a decade’s worth of seats in the House of Representatives and for redistricting federal funds to districts, both of which are already underway.
Robert L. Santos, director of the Census Bureau, acknowledged that the results were affected by some limitations: “the 2020 census undercounted many of the population groups that we have historically underrepresented and overcounted others.” However, he stressed that the work was “remarkable given the unprecedented challenges of 2020″.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the count to be paralyzed just as it was just starting in April 2020. Other factors that impacted the work of the pollsters that year were the forest fires in the west of the country and the coastal hurricanes. That August, the Donald Trump Administration advanced the deadline to finish the count in September, a month earlier than expected.
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