Millions of ethnic minority Americans miss out in US Census, officials admit Photo: iStock
US officials have admitted that millions of ethnic minority Americans missed out in the Census while overcounting white and Asian people, according to a report.
The error pointed out a steeper decline in the white population than initially announced, reported The Times.
The review by the Census Bureau also found that many Hispanic, black and Native Americans were overlooked, the report added.
The review revealed that the report of an 8.6 per cent drop in the population classing itself as “white only” between the 2010 and 2020 censuses was undercounted and was likely to be nearer 9.4 per cent, The Times report said.
The ‘white only’ category remains the majority at about 60 per cent of America’s population of 331 million.
The review by the Bureau also found that the ten-yearly count faced huge challenges from the coronavirus pandemic and pressure from the Trump administration for quick completion.
The latest figures show that Hispanics accounted for 19.6 per cent of the population, black or African Americans 14.6 per cent, Asians 7 per cent, Native Americans 2.7 per cent and “some other race” 4.3 per cent.
According to the report, the total percentage added up to more than 100 because respondents could choose more than one ethnicity.
Census officials said there were no plans to use the disparities found in the review to reformulate how up to $1.5 trillion of federal money is spent this decade, meaning the original mistakes will have knock-on effects for ethnic minorities in areas such as education, social services and healthcare.
The original data will also be used to inform the redrawing of voting districts at every level of government, The Times report noted.
The review suggested that almost 19 million people were incorrectly counted — including 5.2 million who were included twice, two million registered wrongly and millions more who were entirely missing.
The Centre for Public Integrity told The Times: “The Trump administration repeatedly stood in the way of a complete count. President Trump has pursued policies that make immigrants less likely to respond. The census officials he appointed, for example, decided to conclude operations weeks earlier than they had previously announced, leaving little time to reach the people who are hardest to count.”
The report said that the Native American Havasupai tribe was completely missed off the census as no one responded. The tribe’s reservation deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon was largely closed to outsiders during the pandemic, The Times report said.