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2020 Census Overcounted Democratic States, Undercounted GOP States

Forbes 9/29/2022 Steve Forbes, Forbes Staff
© Provided by Forbes

Most people think the decennial census is supposed to count everyone residing in the U.S. Think again.

After each census, the bureau conducts what is called the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) to get a handle on how well the actual counting went. For instance, it found no meaningful statistical discrepancies in the 2010 census.

However, the 2020 census looks to be one of the worst ever. It vastly overcounted the populations of certain states, mostly Democratic ones, and significantly undercounted other states, mostly Republican ones. Texas, for instance, may have had as many as 985,000 more people than the official count. New York, by contrast, received as many as 1 million extra people.

This affected the number of congressional seats certain states were allotted.

Texas and Florida should each have received an additional seat in the House. Rhode Island and Minnesota should each have lost a congressional seat—but didn’t. Colorado was given an additional seat it didn’t deserve.

This segment of What’s Ahead asks, how did this happen? And why hasn’t there been more of a ruckus, given the stakes involved, both in political power and in the distribution of federal dollars based on population?

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