There aren’t as many Delawareans as the census counted

Ken MammarellaGovernment, Headlines


Delaware’s 2020 census may have been overcounted. Photo by Getty Images.


The 2020 census counted 967,000 Delawareans, but a new followup analysis by the U.S. Bureau includes Delaware as one of 14 states with statistically significant miscounts, concluding there are really only maybe about 917,000 Delawareans.

The bureau’s traditional followup involved a survey of 161,00 housing units and a lot of number crunching. And in Delaware’s case, adjusting the count by 5.45% is really only the middle of a wide band of estimates.

“We estimated undercounts for Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas,” the bureau said in its 22-page report, with a more reader-friendly explanatory slide deck running than 50 pages. “We estimated overcounts for Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Utah.

“The post-mortem will not change the official state-by-state results of the census, which said 331,449,281 people were living in the United States in 2020,” The New York Times reported. “Nor will it alter the allotment of seats in the House of Representatives or the map boundaries in state and local political districts, which are redrawn every 10 years using census results.”

Roll Call, which focuses on news inside the Washington Beltway, speculated that if the latest numbers were used in redistricting – which they won’t be – Florida and Texas would each gain another seat in the U.S. House.

Census numbers also matter in guiding more than $1.5 trillion in federal spending annually, Roll Call said.

“Census Bureau officials are quick to point out that their report does not get into what caused these net over- and undercounts by state,” NPR said, but media outlets and stakeholders were also quick to point out that many undercounted states were ones with conservative governments that did not publicize participation in the census.

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