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New Census 2020 Data: Unpacking MI Results

The Census Bureau has released the latest results from the 2020 Census Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) revealing undercount or overcount rates at the state level. 

A collage of people

The Census Bureau has released the latest results from the 2020 Census Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) revealing undercount or overcount rates at the state level. 

The purpose of the PES is to measure the accuracy of the Census by independently surveying a sample of the population and matching those responses to their records in the 2020 Census. 

A majority of states had no estimated significant rates of undercounts or overcounts, including Michigan. 

These PES results cannot be broken down by demographic characteristics or geographic areas within states due to the limited size of the samples and only measure overall state population.

However, the first release of PES results earlier this year showed specific demographic groups were undercounted.

As CMF reported, the first release of PES results provided estimates of population coverage overall and by demographic groups, such as race and Hispanic origin, as well as age groups and gender.

The results showed that the 2020 Census undercounted people of color, specifically the Black population, the American Indian or Alaska Native population living on a reservation, the Hispanic or Latinx population and people who reported being of “some other race.” 

The first data release came after a comprehensive, multi-year effort by Michigan’s Nonprofits Complete Count Campaign (NPCCC), a state and local effort led by the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) and supported by many CMF members, focused on increasing Census participation rates in underrepresented communities in Michigan.

“As we continue to review the results and the accuracy estimates, it is clear that net undercount rates for several historically undercounted groups persisted or increased compared to the 2010 Census. We look forward to working with philanthropy and our state and national partners to inform our work as we prepare for the 2030 Census.” Kelley Kuhn, president and CEO of Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) said. 

Key findings from the state-specific results:

•    37 states, including Michigan, did not have estimated statistically significant undercounts or overcounts.

o    Michigan had a net coverage error estimate of 0.14%. 

•    14 states are estimated to have had an undercount or overcount – a net coverage error statistically different from zero – meaning they were either undercounted or overcounted.

Census data helps determine how federal funding will be spent on critical federal programs, such as food assistance, housing vouchers, Head Start, healthcare and much more. This data also helps shape economic development projects as businesses use it to help determine where they should locate or expand.

As a result of the 2020 Census, Michigan lost a seat in Congress due to the state’s slow population growth. 

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The remainder of the PES estimates, including results for housing units, and undercount and overcount rates for Puerto Rico, are scheduled for release in the summer.

Read more about the Post-Enumeration Survey results.