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Minority Representation in Census
News Bytes 06/22/2020 21 Comments

The U.S. census is underway. At about the halfway point now, there are concerns. Are minority communities responding? Will they be counted appropriately in the national survey? If minorities fall behind in census response, they may miss out on important government services and representation that their communities need.

Often, minority populations are among the least wealthy in the nation. They may not regularly receive news through channels that more financially stable residents do—such as cable television and internet. Therefore, they may not realize the importance of participating in the once-per-decade U.S. census.

Minority advocate groups attempted outreach efforts to keep those communities informed. But the pandemic upended their plans. Door-to-door contacts almost ceased under “stay at home” and “shelter in place” orders. Now the National Urban League and the associated NALEO Educational Fund are sounding the alarm. They say that communities with concentrations of black and Hispanic residents have been trailing the rest of the nation in answering the census questionnaire.

The census occurs only once every 10 years. But that all-resident survey is important. It helps determine where $1.5 trillion in federal funding goes. It also decides how many congressional seats each state will get to represent its population in the federal government.

Arturo Vargas is CEO of NALEO Educational Fund. He says the pandemic is disproportionately affecting the Latino population. With immediate concerns about health and safety, Latinos aren’t worrying much about whether they received a paper census document in the mail.

“We have to figure out how we break through the real noise affecting their daily lives to do something as ordinary as going through the mail and filling out their forms,” Arturo says.

The government gives three options for completing the survey: mail, phone, or online. But even so, many U.S. residents still haven’t responded. The overall national response rate was 61.5% this week. States with large concentrations of Hispanics were lagging behind that number. Those include Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, New York, and Texas. An analysis just a couple of weeks ago by the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York showed that neighborhoods with concentrations of black residents were responding at only a 51% rate: barely more than half.

The National Urban League worries that the census will miss many immigrants, black people in rural communities, formerly incarcerated men and women, and preschool-aged children.

Counting every citizen and resident is important, because people are important. God told Abraham that He would give him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. (Genesis 15:5) Yet He also promises that He knows every detail about us. (Psalm 139:16) God does not lose track of His people. A healthy nation likewise keeps track.

(Posters encourage participation in the 2020 Census in Seattle. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

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Most recent comments

I get that it's hard for

I get that it's hard for people to join in the census, but I wish everyone would. I think the government needs an accurate count of US citizens.

Second Comment

yeah I agree Lena P

Janna (Daniel's sister)

We do need an accurate count for US citizens, but the main reason why the government is pushing it so hard is because they get money from you living in their state. But it is important to have an accurate account, so that you're state is represented equally.

This is Mylee

Yah I agree. Also Texas has so many Hispanic people ! And many of them aren’t Americans because they haven’t taken a test to become one. So I can see why there numbers are lagging behind.Have any of y’all Done the census yet? My family already signed up online.

(formerly Kara N) @ Mylee

I think we did. Maybe? Also I really like your name.

@ Kara N.

just wondering why u changed ur name

@ Everyone

my new baby cousin was born on juneteenth. it sounds like a lot of people have b-days that day

@ Riley D.

rain updates? #stillpraying

This is Mylee

Kara N. thank you your name is pretty to! Belwyn R. That is cool about your cousin lol. Riley D. I wish our rain could go to you it rained tonight and yesterday it rains a lot down here.

I don't think that we have

I don't think that we have done the census yet. I wonder why Hispanic people aren't doing it as much... I mean, the census is a BIG deal.

@ Belwyn

My mom did, for privacy.

This is Mylee

I know exactly why,They aren’t doing it . Down here most not all but most are lazy and most of them live in old tralor homes that are run down . They can’t go to college here unless they are Americans so they don’t have very good jobs. And they spend all there money on party things and beer. They go all out for parties and use lots of money but at home they have little.

This is Mylee

They are too lazy to think about census. Once we had a Hispanic yard working guy he said he would come that Wednesday and came on a Friday like 2 weeks after. They are bad about time and dates. When my family worked at a party place I saw a lot of this sometimes they would come too late for there party. Also the parties sometimes ended at 2:00 a.m. in the morning. We wouldn’t allow beer but another place in town had beer bottles all in the trash can.

@ KN

thanks 4 explaining!!!!!

@ Mylee

Let's not judge all Hispanic people just because some you knew were lazy. I'm sure there are some very sweet Hispanic people out there. I'm sure that life is hard for a lot of them, and maybe they just don't handle it the right way. And please don't take offense at this, I promise I'm not trying to be mean :-)


I hope they can count everyone! My family has already done it I am pretty sure. Rain Updates: We got rain on Friday night and Monday night! (4/10 and 1/10) Thank you Lord! Of course, it prevents us from baling hay and harvesting wheat, but we need it so badly! that stuff can wait! Hooray! Come on Rain!

@ Riley D.


From: :) :) :) :)

Addition to the above ( :) :) :) :) )

Riley, I'm so glad you got some rain!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is Mylee

Hurray for rain! And Lena P. You are correct I know some Hispanic people who go to our Church who aren’t junky. It is hard for Hispanic’s because most of them aren’t Americans so they can’t get good jobs. Like the Hispanic guy who does our yard is very poor and most people turn him down to do yard work. I feel bad for him. And they very sweet. Sorry if I sounded mean.

This is London

Americans can be lazy to. Think about it any culture can be lazy And it’s ok sometimes on world teen it’s hard to explain what u perspective is.

Mylee, it's fine, and London,

Mylee, it's fine, and London, I agree that it's hard to express your opinion/perspective online.

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