Akee on Reaching Hard-to-Count Populations in Census

Randall Akee, associate professor of public policy, was featured in the Journal discussing the issue of undercounting Native American people in the U.S. census. Native Americans living on reservations made up the biggest undercount of any ethnic group in the 2010 census. “Before the pandemic, it seemed the census was taking the issue of reaching out to underrepresented communities seriously,” said Akee, who served on the National Advisory Council on Race, Ethnic and Other Populations at the U.S. Census Bureau from 2013 to 2019. “One of the big things we were always focused on was how to reach the hard-to-count populations.” However, decreases in funding and the coronavirus pandemic have created new challenges. “There are high costs of getting to places and getting to people in these particular communities, which is the reason why undercounts are prevalent,” Akee said. “Remote communities simply need more time and resources for an accurate count.”

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