Black, Hispanic and Native American residents were missed at higher rates than a decade ago in the 2020 census, according to a report released Thursday that assessed how well the once-a-decade people count matched each resident American.
Even though the 2020 census missed a surprisingly small percentage of the total U.S. population given the unprecedented challenges it faced, increasing undercount among some minority groups prompted an outcry from civil rights leaders who blamed political interference from the Trump administration, which tried unsuccessfully to add a citizenship question to the census form and curtail field operations.
“These numbers are devastating. Once again, we are seeing an overcount of white Americans and an undercount of black and Hispanic Americans,” National Urban League CEO Marc Morial said in a call with reporters. “I want to express in the strongest possible terms our outrage.”
The US Census Bureau’s post-count survey results showed that most racial and ethnic minorities were being neglected at statistically higher rates than a decade ago, with the Asian population being an exception. The survey measures whether certain populations were undercounted or overrepresented in the census. Overcounts occur, for example, if someone owns a vacation home and is counted there as well as at a permanent residence address.
The black population at the 2020 census had a net undercount of 3.3%, while it was nearly 5% for Hispanics and 5.6% for American Indians and Native Americans. Alaska living on reservations. Those who identified as another race had a net undercount of 4.3%. The non-Hispanic white population had a net overcoverage of 1.6% and Asians a net overcoverage of 2.6%, according to the results.
The 2020 census missed 0.24% of the entire US population, a rate that was not statistically significant.