Don’t you just love it when a federal agency makes a little announcement that has enormous consequences for America, yet no one knows about it because it just gets lost in the tidal wave of daily news?
This story is a couple weeks old, but it’s kind of a big deal. It’s about the U.S. Census Bureau admitting that — oops — it OVERCOUNTED the populations of eight states and UNDERCOUNTED the populations of six states in the 2020 census.
You might think, well, it’s a giant country and taking a census is a very complicated task — maybe we can expect some errors. Yet in the 2010 census, the Bureau reported an error rate of just 0.01 percent. That’s an overcount of just 36,000 people, which ends up being statistically insignificant.
The curious thing about the 2020 census “mistakes” is that out of the eight states that were overcounted, seven of them are blue states. And out of the six undercounted states, five of them are red.
The Bureau overcounted in Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Utah.
They undercounted in Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Illinois.
The biggest mistakes percentage-wise were Hawaii, which was overcounted by 6.79 percent and Arkansas, which was undercounted by just over five percent.
What are the consequences of these “mistakes”? Minnesota and Rhode Island each get to keep a U.S. Representative seat that they should not have. While Florida should have received two additional seats, and Texas one additional seat.
And of course, since a lot of federal funding is tied to population, this also means hundreds of millions of dollars will be sent to overcounted states at the expense of the undercounted ones.
But this is good, right, that the Census Bureau admitted its mistakes? So now we can make the necessary corrections — especially since it affects something as vital as representation in Congress. Guess again. There is NO remedy for these Census Bureau errors. The numbers they turn in are tied to the specific date of the official census. Those numbers are final. Federal law does not provide a way to fix these major errors.
Sorry, Florida and Texas — there’s always 2030.