12/05/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2022 10:41
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi wrote to U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Santos regarding the agency's work to correct previous undercounting of the state's population to ensure the state receives its proper per-capita allocation of the $1.5 trillion-per-decade amount that is allocated based on Census Bureau data. Focusing on the finding of the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) which was released in May, Congressman Krishnamoorthi's letter focuses on his request for the PES findings, which identified the undercounting of Illinois' population, to be incorporated into the Census Bureau's future population projections. The letter also inquires as to the state of that effort, as well as others, to prevent Illinois from being undercounted again.
The Congressman's new letter to the Census Bureau follows his January 2022 letter to the director regarding the gap between the Bureau's annual population estimates and the 2020 Decennial Census as the latter revealed apparent undercounting of Illinois in the yearly reports over the preceding decade. In May, Congressman Krishnamoorthi and other members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation wrote to the Commerce Department and Census Bureau again, following the Bureau's release of its estimated overcount and undercount rates from the PES which concluded that 14 states had significant counting margins of error, including Illinois, which was likely undercounted by 1.97 percent. Beyond highlighting the 2020 Census' own undercounting of the state, the PES also thus revealed that the Bureau's annual population estimates undercounted Illinois' population by even larger margins than was previously known. These undercounts are of particular concern because the data from the Decennial Census and subsequent Bureau population estimates will direct the allocation of roughly $1.5 trillion in federal funding through roughly 100 programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and infrastructure funding.
On June 16th, 2022, Census Director briefed members of the Illinois delegation on the PES data in response to their letters and also provided a letter with written responses to questions from the Members. In that response, while the Census Director explained that the 2020 Census results themselves will not be altered based under the PES, he wrote:
"the Census Bureau has established a team of experts tasked with researching the feasibility of taking coverage measures from the Demographic Analysis and Post-Enumeration Survey into account in the development of the official population estimates. The team is taking a phased approach to the research, beginning with an analysis of 2020 Census data and coverage measures. This first phase will extend into next year. The timeline for the availability of results and their potential incorporation into the official population estimates is still being determined."
Further, in response to being asked directly to "commit to taking into account the PES projections in its yearly Population Estimates," Director Santo wrote:
"While too early to commit to incorporating PES into the population estimates, the Census Bureau is researching the feasibility of taking coverage measures from both the Demographic Analysis and Post-Enumeration Survey into account in the development of the official population estimates."
To assess the state of the Census Bureau's progress in incorporating the most recent findings into future population estimates and funding allocations, while identifying and eliminating the causes of the state's previous undercounting, Congressman Krishnamoorthi requested answers to the following question by December 19th, 2022:
When will the Bureau's research into "the feasibility of taking coverage measures from the Demographic Analysis and Post-Enumeration Survey into account in the development of the official population estimates" be complete?
A full copy of Congressman Krishnamoorthi's new letter to the Census Bureau is available here.