Mike Schneider and Corey Williams – Associated Press
Detroit (AP) – Detroit became the largest U.S. city to challenge its 2020 census figures after a national census in which the U.S. Census Bureau acknowledged that a higher percentage of African Americans were underestimated than in the U.S. Census Bureau last decade.
Michigan’s largest city, which accounts for more than three-quarters of blacks, has questioned the results of the 2020 census since last December, when they released a report assuming more than 8% of occupied homes in 10 Detroit neighborhoods may have been understated.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Detroit filed the application late last week.
In a letter to the Census Bureau, Mayor Michael Duggan said Detroit had insufficient resources and insufficient enumerators to count, leading to an understatement of the number of unoccupied homes, which could reach tens of thousands.
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“The Census Bureau is now required to set a record,” Dugan said.
Data from the 2020 census showed that Detroit had 639,111 residents, while by 2019, the city’s population is estimated at 670,052. A drop of 31,000 residents would be “truly incredible,” said Jeffrey Morenoff, a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who helped conduct a study on understatement in the city when the report was released in December.
Detroit is no stranger to census problems. Then-Mayor Coleman Young sued after the 1990 census, and the figures were later adjusted.
Although the total U.S. population was missed by a small percentage, 0.24%, during the quarterly census caused by pandemics, natural disasters and political intervention by the Trump administration, some minority groups remained unattended at a higher rate than in the previous decade. The black population was underestimated by 3.3%, those who identified themselves as some other race were underestimated by 4.3%, almost 5% of the Hispanic population was missed, and more than 5.6% of Native Americans living in reservations were understated.
Detroit is among nearly two dozen cities and counties who have so far challenged their census figures. States and municipalities have until the middle of next year to appeal their figures through a census bureau operation to address counting issues. Problems are rarely successfulbut the result could determine whether cities and counties get their fair share when it comes to allocating $ 1.5 trillion in annual federal funding.
In the case of Detroit, Dugan said federal funding for the city tied to the 2010 census in the previous decade exceeded $ 37 billion.
“About 8% of Detroit’s population deficit in the 2020 census creates catastrophic financial consequences for the city,” Dugan said.
The vast majority of municipalities that challenge their census figures are small towns, more than half of which come from the rural south. About half a dozen said prisons in their communities were not spotted during the count.
Residents of prisons, nursing homes and college dormitories – also known as group quarters – have been among the most difficult to count during the 2020 census since students from the campus were sent home when the March 2020 pandemic began in the United States. as well as prisons and nursing homes closed against the spread of coronavirus.
Due to difficulties in counting these residents, the Census Bureau last month set up a separate program for the problem of counting group quarters.
The mayors of the municipalities facing the problem said that the incorrect calculation could cost them state and federal grants. Mayor Joe Sparks of Bennett, Iowa, said he was concerned that the city would not receive money for two emergency generators from the Federal Emergency Management Agency if its census figures were not corrected.
The city’s population increased from 405 in 2010 to 347 in 2020, “and it’s very hard for me to believe,” Sparks said.
“The population decline will negatively affect the people of Bennett,” he said.
Schneider reported from Orlando, Florida.
Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP
This story was updated to show that the U.S. Census Bureau’s problem-solving program is an operation to address counting issues, not to address county issues.
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