Hansi Lo Wang:
This is a long-standing flaw with census figures dating back decades. This trend is not new. And what’s new is that in 2020 we had the pandemic, the coronavirus. Just as the counting was really beginning nationwide, the outbreaks were happening.
And we’ve had years of interference from former President Donald Trump’s administration, starting with the failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the forms. It didn’t end up on the forms, but it caused a lot of controversy, a lot of fear, a lot of uncertainty on the part of many households, especially those where immigrants live, as to whether or not to take the census. . .
And then, when counting down, in 2020, the former administration of former President Donald Trump finished counting early. All of these things have been brought up – all of these factors have increased the risk of undercounting people of color, because research has shown that the way to make these groups count is through this person-to-person, in-person interaction, by doing door-to-door, interviews, not necessarily relying on households to fill out a form and essentially participate in the census on their own.
And so those are really major factors here that are why we’re seeing a really bad report card in so many ways for the Census Bureau.