WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Millions of Americans may not be counted in this year’s Census.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced it is ending all counting efforts for 2020 on Sept. 30, a month earlier than previously scheduled.
Officials in states like Texas fear that would lead to severe undercounting — possibly resulting in states losing a congressional seat and some cities not getting enough federal funding.
“We are very concerned this could be a failed Census,” Dr. Mark Fossett said.
Fossett is with the Texas Census Research Data Center, and he fears not every American will be counted.
“Anyone who relies on this data is already making plans to consider alternative strategies,” he said.
Mary Jo Hoeksema with the Census Project Coalition says an undercount of Americans could have serious consequences.
“Over 1.5 trillion dollars in federal funding is allocated annually based on Census data and states that fail to deliver accurate, full inclusive counts will lose resources that they need,” Hoeksema said.
According to the Census Bureau, only 63% of Americans have responded to the 2020 Census so far. In Texas, that number drops to 58%.
Texas Demographer Lloyd Potter says he originally projected the state would gain three new congressional seats this year. But now, he’s not sure.
“If we have an undercount, then conceivably we will only get two new U.S. congressional seats,” he said.
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) says states like Texas with a large Hispanic and rural population have the most to lose.
“Some of my constituents don’t have access to high-speed internet to fill out the forms online,” he explained.
In a statement, the U.S. Census Bureau said it’s working to speed up the count to ensure “a complete and accurate 2020 Census.”
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