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Montana News

Census Bureau survey reveals undercount of Native, Black and Hispanic populations

The U.S. Census Bureau Thursday said its 2020 headcount missed American Indian, Black and Hispanic residents at higher rates than a decade ago.

The Census Bureau's post-census survey measures whether certain populations were undercounted or overrepresented. The report revealed a national net undercount of 5.6% for American Indians and Alaska Natives living on reservations. Native Americans were undercounted in the 2010 census by about 5%.

Ta’jin Perez is deputy director of the Billings-based Western Native Voice, which worked to increase tribal community participation in the count. Perez attributes the undercount to what he calls the Bureau’s lackluster recruitment in Indian Country.

“That, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic really set a perfect storm for a significant undercount of Native American and Alaska Natives.”

Census results help determine how over $1 trillion in federal funding is distributed every year, as well as how many congressional seats each state gets.