(Photo by Enayet Raheem on Unsplash)

By J. K. Schmid
Special to the AFRO

The National Urban League is calling on Congress to investigate the 2020 census.

While the 2020 census reported the majority of counted Americans identify as multi-racial, new analysis suggests that millions of Black Americans may not have been counted.

“About two million Black Americans went uncounted,” Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League said. “It could be the worst undercount in decades.”

The federal government is budgeted $1.5 trillion across 300 programs according to one George Washington University study. If each census form filled out guarantees a slice of the funding, the same study estimates each is worth thousands of dollars.

“While funding formulas are complex, the George Washington Institute of Public Policy places the value of each completed census form at more than $4,000 per person,” Mr. Morial said. “That means an undercount of 2 million people represents a loss of more than $8 billion in funding.”

These federal programs include Medicaid, Medicare, public housing vouchers, and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The census is likely to determine how the BIden Administration’s massive infrastructure bill will be apportioned.

The National Urban League’s study of the 2020 census can be found here.

The 2020 census has been contested from the start. It was a struggle in and of itself to reach people at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The addition of a citizenship question to this latest version of the census was expected to suppress response.

The National Urban League sued when the Trump Administration abandoned its commitment to extend the census under COVID, ultimately failing to prevail when the question came before the Supreme Court.

“So the undercount is no surprise,” Mr. Morial said. “But it is no less a betrayal, and one that we must make every effort to remedy and prevent from ever happening again.”

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