NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico’s 2020 census count contained relatively few errors, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau. But residents in some other states were over-counted or under-counted.
The 2020 census counted 2,075,000 people in New Mexico. After reviewing the data, the Census Bureau estimates that the count is likely representative of the actual population.
But six states were undercounted and eight were overcounted, the Census Bureau analysis shows. Texas is among those undercounted.
The Census Bureau analysis estimates that the actual population of Texas is close to 2% higher than the 2020 census count. That could mean roughly 500,000 people weren’t included in the official count.
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Several states may have had inaccurate 2020 census counts. Image from U.S. Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau makes these checks by using a statistical technique called “dual-system estimation.” The basic idea is to compare the 2020 census count with data collected from a survey at a later date. If the two differ significantly, it indicates that there might be problems with the official numbers.
“Achieving an accurate count for all 50 states and DC is always a difficult endeavor, and these results suggest it was difficult again in 2020, particularly given the unprecedented challenges we faced,” Census Bureau Director Robert L. Santos said in a press release. “It is important to remember that the quality of the 2020 Census total population count is robust and consistent with that of recent censuses. However, we know there is still more work to do in planning future censuses to ensure equitable coverage across the United States and we are working to overcome any and all obstacles to achieve that goal.”
The statistics show that Hawaii likely had the highest overcount, and Arkansas likely had the greatest undercount. Each of those states’ counts was likely more than 5% different than the actual population.
While New Mexico’s 2020 count was a close match to the comparison data, it’s still possible that some New Mexicans were missed by the Census. Certain populations in New Mexico are particularly at-risk of being inaccurately counted. Native Americans and others that live in rural areas, in particular, are often undercounted.