Census Undercount Could Cost CA a House Seat

2020 Census

The Public Policy Institute of California released a report indicating if the 2020 census does a poor job reaching residents who are traditionally hard to count, we may lose representation in the House.

Research fellow Eric McGhee with the PPIC said California is vulnerable to an undercount this go-around.

"Because we have a disproportionate number of the kinds of people who tend to be undercounted," McGhee said. "That would be people of color, immigrants, renters." 

McGhee says an undercount could affect how congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn within California, which would shift representation away from poorer areas to those that are wealthier and less diverse.

"Losing a seat would be a real loss, especially if we are otherwise deserving of that extra seat based on our population," McGhee said. 

To mitigate this issue, the state has allocated $90.3 million for census outreach.


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