Florida Census Report undercount could have negative consequences

Published: May 20, 2022 5:25 PM EDT
Updated: May 20, 2022 6:21 PM EDT

The Post-Enumeration Survey found that the 2020 Census had neither an undercount nor an overcount for the nation. The report says the agency undercounted people in Florida and 5 other states and overcounted in 8 states.

Population determines how much each state gets in federal funding and how many representatives we get in congress. The new census report says Florida shortchanged itself in both places.

The President of Florida Taxwatch, Dominic Calabro, went on tv when Floridians got their 2020 census forms. He urged everyone to participate.

Calabro’s message fell on deaf ears when as many as 700,000 Floridians skipped the census.

Patrick Cantwell, with the US Census Bureau, has the job to study the accuracy of the census. WINK News asked him why did so many Floridians refuse to be counted.

“Unfortunately, we can’t answer why some groups or some states may have been undercounted or overcounted,” Cantwell says.

Florida Gulf Coast University politics professor, Peter Bergerson, told WINK News what the impact of Florida undercounting means.

“Florida would have gotten an additional congressional district. So they already have one and they would have been able to get two,” Bergerson says.

The other impact might be a little different. “Federal funds are distributed based on state’s official population,” Bergerson says. “And by undercounting that, by that significant number, Florida is going to receive less grant and aid money, less financial support than they normally would have had those 700,000 people been included.”

Some states spent millions to encourage people to fill out the census. Others didn’t spend a single penny but Florida spent around $800,000.