Census overcount of Minnesota’s population aided political win

2022-05-19 17:07:54 –

Minnesota may have avoided losing parliamentary seats after the 2020 census due to overestimation of the state’s population.

According to results released Thursday from a census accuracy survey by the U.S. Census, the once-in-a-decade personnel used to allocate political power and federal funding will have 219,000 or a population of Minnesota. It may have been overestimated by 3.8%.

Minnesota demographer Susan Blower said the overestimation “may have helped us” to save the parliamentary seats. “But thousands of other things could have happened.”

After the new population total was announced in early 2021 Minnesota was assigned the 435th and last parliamentary seats In the House of Representatives; if Minnesota had counted 26 fewer people, that seat would have gone to New York. The state’s population was also overvalued, making even greater differences.

Numbers released on Thursday Post-enumeration survey Serves as a report card on how well residents in 50 states and the District of Columbia were counted during a census in the face of unprecedented obstacles such as pandemics, hurricanes, wildfires, social unrest, and interference from the Trump White House. To do.

Timothy Kennel, a Census official, re-interviewed a sample of the population in this survey and compared the results to the census to see “what was right and what was wrong”. bottom.

States that did a better job of counting inhabitants gained more electoral colleges and parliamentary representatives, or did not lose the expected seats of the House of Representatives. They are also in a better position to distribute $ 1.5 trillion in federal funding annually over the next decade.

At this time, it is not possible to change the number of parliamentary seats allocated between states. You also cannot adjust the data used to redraw the parliamentary district.

Undercounts indicate that people have missed, and overcounts indicate that they have been counted multiple times or those who should not have been counted.

Minnesota was one of eight overrated states, including New York, which lost to Minnesota in the last parliamentary seat. The overestimation of New York exceeded 670,000. There are quite a few Rhode Island, so maybe we could have saved some seats.

According to the 2020 census, Minnesota’s population has increased by more than 402,000 over the past decade to reach about 5.7 million. As a result of the overestimation, the state’s growth may not have been as strong as it looks, Blower said.

According to Thursday’s report, most of the overestimations could be due to situations such as babies born after April 1, 2020, or people who died before that were mistakenly included in the number of households. there is. The percentage of people counted in multiple locations was very low.

The report said Minnesota may not have counted about 1.8%. However, this dropout rate is much lower than the national average of almost 6%.

Blowers weren’t surprised by the news that Minnesota was overrated, as Minnesota has the highest percentage of people in the country who fill out census forms without follow-up from census workers. In addition, various groups have carried out powerful campaigns to involve residents.

“In Minnesota, we usually count more,” Blower said. “What we were really worried about when conducting an engagement campaign was the missing people.”

In Arkansas and Tennessee, 1 in 20 residents is not counted. The other four states (Mississippi, Illinois, Florida, Texas) were also significantly undervalued.

In the remaining 36 states and the District of Columbia, overcounting and undercounting were not statistically significant.

Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas did not direct as many resources as other states in encouraging residents to fill out census forms. Mississippi spent about $ 400,000. In contrast, Illinois has allocated $ 29 million for these efforts. The Minnesota State Capitol has allocated $ 2 million In the office of a demographer. Historically, undervalued groups include racial and ethnic minorities, renters, and toddlers.

Two of the fastest growing states in the last decade, Texas and Florida, were expected to win more seats than they did from the 2020 census. Florida has won one seat and Texas has won two seats.

The Thursday release did not classify the effectiveness of the 2020 census at the state level by demographic characteristics, but according to a national report card released in March, the black population of the 2020 census was It was 3.3%, which was almost 5%. 5.6% for Hispanics and 5.6% for Native Americans and Native Alaska who live by appointment. Those identified as other races had a net undercount of 4.3%. The results show that the non-Hispanic white population has a net excess of 1.6% and the Asian population has a net excess of 2.6%.

The Census Bureau is not expected to publish state-level results of racial underestimation, despite the fact that she and others are seeking that information, Blower said. ..

Scholars and civil rights leaders are pressing the Census Bureau to revise its annual population estimates, which traditionally used census figures as a basis. Instead, we are using other data sources to create more accurate portraits of undervalued racial and ethnic communities and seek out numbers to help us make our decisions. Distribution of federal funds. The Census Bureau has set up a team to investigate this.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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