Tennessee one of worst undercounted states in 2020 US Census, could undercut federal funding

Nearly 1 in 20 missed
Virus Outbreak 2020 Census Redistricting
Posted at 11:50 AM, May 19, 2022

(AP/WTVF) — Around 1 in 20 residents in Arkansas and Tennessee were missed during the 2020 census, and four other U.S. states had significant undercounts of their populations which could short-change them of federal funding in the current decade.

That's according to figures from a survey the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

The official census count tallied 6.7 million Tennesseans, but that number is believed to be under the true population by 4.78%, or approximately 330,000 people.

Similar surveys are done after each census, which happen once a decade. The census counts are used to help draw legislative maps statewide and determine how federal funding is distributed, among other things. While this wasn't the case in Tennessee, undercounts in Florida, and Texas, undercounts appear to have cost them congressional seats.

The report noted that the 2020 census faced several challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and controversy surrounding a proposed citizenship question.

In eight states, residents were overcounted. In Minnesota and Rhode Island, overcounts appear to have saved them from losing congressional seats. In the remaining 36 states, the overcounts and undercounts weren't statistically significant.