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Offline TahoeBlue

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Census 2020
« on: March 30, 2019, 08:25:53 pm »
LAO Report
December 13, 2018
The 2020 Census: Potential Impacts on California

Executive Summary

Federal Government Counts the Number of People in the United States Every Ten Years.

The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to count the total number of people in the United States every ten years. This is the decennial Census. The U.S. Census Bureau (?the Bureau?), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will conduct the next Census in 2020.

Census Population Counts Used to Determine Congressional Representation and Certain Federal Funding Levels for States. The results of the Census are used to distribute seats in the House of Representatives and inform the amount of federal funds allocated to states for certain programs. Census results also are used to determine legislative districts for federal, state, and local representatives within each state. Moreover, the Census provides a social, demographic, and economic profile of the country?s residents, informing decisions by policymakers and businesses across the state.

California Has Experienced an Undercount in Past Censuses, Particularly in 1990. An undercount of California occurs when there are more people living in the state than are counted by the Census. While the Census has become more accurate over time, some past Censuses have resulted in significant undercounts of California?s population.

For example, the 1990 Census undercounted California?s population by 2.74 percent (about 835,000 people), which was disproportionately worse than the national undercount?1.59 percent or about 4 million people. As a result, California gained one fewer seat in Congress than it was entitled to receive and was estimated to have lost over $200 million of federal funds in a single fiscal year. The 2000 and 2010 Censuses were much more accurate.

California Could Experience an Undercount in 2020 . . . There are a variety of reasons to believe that California could experience an undercount in 2020.
First, the state experienced greater undercounts than the rest of the nation in all of the past three Censuses.
Second, the state has a higher share of people who historically have been more difficult to count relative to the rest of the nation (referred to as the hard‑to‑count population). This hard‑to‑count population includes immigrants, who may be even harder to count in 2020 than they were in the past.

. . . But an Undercount Would Likely Be Smaller Than the 1990 Scenario. That said, we think that a statewide undercount equivalent to the 1990 undercount is not likely. There are a variety of reasons for this, including:
(1) improvements in the Census? methodology,
(2) advances in access to statistical and administrative data, and
(3) adequate funding levels for current Census preparation activities. (While past funding issues did limit some of the Bureau?s planning activities, Congress has granted the Bureau its full budget request for the most recent fiscal year.)

California Unlikely to Lose a Seat Due to an Undercount . . . Other researchers have found that an undercount like the one that occurred in 1990 would not cause California to lose a congressional seat. Because we think even that scenario is unlikely, the risk of California losing a congressional seat is low.

. . . Or Much Federal Funding. Some reports have indicated that California has billions of dollars at stake as a result of an undercount similar to 1990. Even in this worst‑case scenario, however, we find that an undercount could result in the California state government losing tens of millions of dollars?not billions of dollars?in federal funding. In budgetary terms, this amount of money is very small. (Federal funds distributed directly to local governments also could be affected, but the size of this effect is unknown.)

Complete and Accurate Count in 2020 Still Important. There are other reasons to ensure a complete and accurate count in 2020. For instance, certain regions in the state run a greater risk of being undercounted than others. As a result, an undercount of some regions relative to others could result in some people within the state having less congressional (and state legislative) representation relative to what they should receive.

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole ; He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. - Job 5