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UCLA Study Reveals Census Undercount — Especially Among Latino Communities

The exterior of two census forms from the year 2020, featuring the U.S. Census logo, are shown. Each is white with black lettering, listing the address of the Census Bureau and the words "your response is required by law"
The study found that L.A. County residents more likely to be excluded from the census were predominately Latino.
(Justin Sullivan
Getty Images)
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A new study has concluded the 2020 census missed more people than past efforts to count the U.S. population.

It says the L.A. County residents most likely to have been excluded from the census are from neighborhoods that are predominantly Latino, low-income, and foreign-born.

Professor Paul Ong is director of the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, which led the study. It compared population estimates from the Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey with census data from 2010 and 2020.

"The inconsistency between the American Community Survey and the decennial census is greater this time around, which is consistent with the fact that we believe that the pandemic and Trump's politicization of the process had a large negative impact on counting people."

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Professor Ong says the Trump administration's push to include a citizenship question on the census — even though it was unsuccessful — likely deterred many immigrants from participating.

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