REPORT: Census undercount cost New York a congressional seat

State News

WASHINGTON (NEWS10) — According to the Urban Institute—a nonprofit think tank focused on economic and social policy—New York’s population was undercounted by 1.1% in the Census, missing nearly 225,000 residents. If the Empire State had counted just 89 more people, it would have kept all 27 of its seats in the House of Representatives, the Census Bureau said in April.

The Urban Institute owes the alleged miscount to demographic changes, the political climate, and natural disasters—including, of course, the COVID pandemic. Such a turbulent environment, they say, challenged the quality, accuracy, and fairness of the entire process.

Urban produced a simulated 2020 Census model to figure that the 2020 Census likely had 4.1% undercounts and 3.6% overcounts, for a countrywide undercount of roughly 0.5%. These numbers suggest that the Census failed to account for nearly 1.7 million people in 2020.

Besides New York, the simulation showed that Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas were each undercounted by over 1%. If the hypothetical full count bears out, New York would effectively be due one of Minnesota’s seats in the House. The scenario in the report suggests that Minnesota should have seven representatives, though they now have eight.

Take a look at some of New York’s numbers from the report below:

  • Official count (2020 census): 20,201,249
  • Hypothetical full count (Urban): 20,425,887
  • Overcount (Urban) Estimate: 769,813
  • Overcount (Urban) Percent: 3.77%
  • Undercount (Urban) Estimate: -994,452
  • Undercount (Urban) Percent: -4.87%
  • Net miscount (Urban) Estimate: -224,638
  • Net miscount (Urban) Percent: -1.10%
  • Total miscounts for the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area: -1.16%

And check out the full report:

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