ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Back in 2010, the census undercounted the African American population by more than 800,000 in the United States. If African Americans are undercounted for this year’s census, their communities stand to lose over $3.3 billion in crucial funding.
Co-chair of the African American Complete Count Committee Nichole Rogers discusses why the census is so important. The African American population has been historically undercounted in the decennial census, disadvantaging their families, communities, and neighborhoods.
“The census only happens every ten years and it completely decides where federal funding is going to go in our country,” said Rogers. “And we desperately need funding in New Mexico so if we don’t get this right, it could amount to billions of dollars lost for critical programs like SNAP, like roads, hospitals, schools, Medicaid, Medicare, all of our beloved services we use are definitely at risk if we don’t get this right.”
About 75% of young African American children were overlooked by the 2010 census which is roughly twice the rate for young, non-Hispanic, white children. African American men have been historically undercounted in greater numbers than men of other racial or ethnic groups.
Rogers explains that behind Alaska, New Mexico is one of the hardest to count states regarding the census because of the rural areas that must be covered. Additionally, Rogers says there aren’t specific black neighborhoods, and there is also a distrust in giving information to the government.
Today, more than one in three African Americans live in hard to count areas including New Mexico. If undercounted in 2020, African American communities could lose over $3.3 billion while Hispanic communities could lose $4.4 billion, and Native communities could lose $200 million every year for the next ten years.
During the recent civil unrest in the country, completing the census is a way to bring resources to communities. For additional information on the 2020 Census, visit Welstandfoundation.org.