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U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

  • 1.  U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 05-20-2022 08:28

    The US Census Bureau has released undercount ond overcount rates for the 2020 census. Here is the press release: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2022/pes-2020-undercount-overcount-by-state.html?utm_campaign=20220519msc20s2ccnwsrs&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

    U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates by State and the District of Columbia

    I want to applaud the Census Bureau for this study and getting it out to the public. Well done!!

    Also, a question: The states with significant undercounts are Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. There may be a geographic pattern: apart from Illinois, the remainder are all on the south. Including Illinois, here is the question: did the statitical challenges faced by southern states migrate north to with the population shift known as the Great Migration, which saw many from the South - mostly persons of color, who often face under-represedntation in official statistgics - migrate north, often to Illinois and Michigan? (NB: Michigan did not have a significant undercount but Detroit is reported to be challenging the results, claiming an 8% undercount).  Are there demographic / sociological / cultural patterns in the undercount? What research has looked into this question?

    Thank you!!



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    David J Corliss, PhD
    Director, Peace-Work www.peace-work.org
    davidjcorliss@peace-work.org
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  • 2.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 05-22-2022 18:18
    The under-count states are all red states (IL is the exception) while the over-count states are blue states (OH, UT the exception). I think I see a geographic pattern. We call it Occams razor.

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    Terry Meyer
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  • 3.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 05-24-2022 19:19
    Occam's Razor does not apply if there is more relevant information being ignored.  Red States may have undercounted their minorities.  Do you think the Trump Administration tried to boost Blue States? 

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    James Knaub (Jim)
    Retired Lead Mathematical Statistician
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  • 4.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 05-29-2022 09:12
    The states don't count anyone; the Census Bureau counts them.

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    Hal Switkay
    United States
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  • 5.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 05-29-2022 10:38
    States do, however, have their own Census outreach and promotion campaigns of varying levels of effort and varying choices of priorities in both target populations and target media.  And they have their own political climates (among other things) which can have an effect on patterns of Census response.

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    Michael Ikeda
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  • 6.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 05-29-2022 11:23
    No doubt. However, the claim that any state has ever wanted to undercount its own population, thus reducing its House delegation and Electoral College delegation, is absurd.

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    Hal Switkay
    United States
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  • 7.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 30 days ago
    It's not a matter of wanting to undercount.  It's a matter of efforts to ensure a complete count having different levels of effectiveness.  Which could result from various factors.  Such as some state governments putting more resources behind such efforts, or understanding better where the resources should best be deployed, or having more trusting relationships with historically undercounted communities, etc.

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    Michael Ikeda
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  • 8.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 05-29-2022 09:10
    Terry, I have gone through the apportionment process based on the announced overcounts and undercounts. In addition to the announced changes, based on what the Census Bureau described as statistically significant results, both FL and TX have earned one more representative, and MN and RI one fewer. If you include non-significant results, then in addition to the two changes above, TN would receive one more representative, and CO one fewer.

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    Hal Switkay
    United States
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  • 9.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 28 days ago
    Although perhaps the most important, representation isn't the only use of census data. Many federal grants, subsides, payments, etc. are tied to census data.

    I find the concept that red states under counted because of their lack of effort (Knowledge? Resources? Racism?) and blue states over counted because of their effort (Knowledge? Resources? Anti-racist views?) a stretch. Again, I suggest Occam's razor: the simplest direct explanation is likely to be the correct explanation.

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    Terry Meyer
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  • 10.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 27 days ago
    Terry,
    Maybe I'm a little slow off the mark, but could you state clearly what is the "simplest direct explanation"?

    Thank you.

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    [Giles] [Warrack]
    [Retired]
    [NC A&T State University]
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  • 11.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 27 days ago
    Here's the Wall Street Journal editorial Board's 'simplest direct explanation'.  BTW, there is no way to correct these figures now until 2030.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-rigged-the-census-republican-states-democrats-population-undercount-overcount-biden-administration-11653084199

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    Terry Meyer
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  • 12.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 26 days ago
    Any chance of a simple direct summary for those who don't subscribe to the WSJ?

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    [Giles] [Warrack]
    [Retired]
    [NC A&T State University]
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  • 13.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 25 days ago

    Terry,
    Since the article is behind a paywall, I can't read much more than the headline and subheading:
    "Who Rigged the Census?
    Under-counts may have cost Florida and Texas another House seat."

    Again I can't read the full article, but the headline makes an accusation that the decennial census was rigged. That would require explaining why large numbers of Census Bureau staff---who (at least in my own experience) tend to be professional statisticians who deliberately cultivate a workplace culture of sincere impartiality and transparency---suddenly all went along with a partisan effort. Furthermore, it would also require an explanation for why someone would rig the census but not also rig the post-enumeration survey. Altogether this does not sound like a "simplest direct explanation" to me.

    A simpler explanation for the undercount in Republican-leaning states would be differential nonresponse, wouldn't it? The Republican president was quite open about trying to appeal to voters who distrust institutions. It follows that Republicans could have been more likely to distrust the census and thus less likely to reply.

    This also lines up with AAPOR's evaluation of why 2020 pre-election presidential polls underestimated the Republican vote share:
    "This hypothesis is not unreasonable, considering the decreasing trust in institutions and polls especially among Republicans (e.g., Cramer 2016). Trump provided explicit cues to his supporters that polls were "fake" and intended to suppress votes (e.g., Haberman 2020). These statements by Trump could have transformed survey participation into a political act whereby his strongest supporters chose not to respond to polls."
    https://www.aapor.org/Education-Resources/Reports/2020-Pre-Election-Polling-An-Evaluation-of-the-202.aspx



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    Jerzy Wieczorek
    Assistant Professor
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  • 14.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 16 days ago

    The simplest explanation seems to be the oldest one, namely that the census has always had a pattern of undercounting minorities and overcounting whites (and this time asians), and very much tied to having a stable address at which one could be reached. (So if those wealthy enough to have 2 houses & receive a census form for each, or college students studying away from home, are more likely to be double counted).

    Normally a lot of effort goes into reaching out to people who did not respond to household surveys, or were not associated with a household, and many of us will recall how the Trump administration refused to extend the timelines for the Census to carry out that work of doing so (and made more difficult because of COVID). (And also recall that the administration fought to include a citizenship question on the census, which was expected to lower the response). At the time it was pointed out that Trump's decisions regarding the census would more likely hurt red states because of the demographics, and so it seems to have.

    https://www.npr.org/2022/03/10/1083732104/2020-census-accuracy-undercount-overcount-data-quality



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    Dennis Sweitzer
    Principal Biostatistician
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  • 15.  RE: U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates - geographic pattern?

    Posted 15 days ago