This is partially by Republican design.
The US Census has always undercounted people of color. But in 2020, the census is about to take a huge — and possibly intentional — step backward.
There are two big reasons why, and both have to do with the Trump administration.
The first is the effort has been underfunded. To reduce costs, the Census Bureau introduced a new online survey method, but had to cancel two of the three tests of the new system in 2018 because they didn’t have the funding.
The other is the Trump administration’s efforts to add a question about citizenship, with the rationale that it’s needed to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Census experts worried that it would reduce the response rate from undocumented communities — and it turns out this might’ve been by design. New files from deceased Republican strategist Thomas Hofeller show that he studied the effects of a citizenship question and found that it would electorally benefit white Republicans. He subsequently advised the Trump administration to add the question.

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