Paul Ong, research professor and director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, was featured in a CalMatters article discussing California’s population growth as it slows to near-zero. After 170 years of steady growth, birth rates have started to decline and death rates are increasing. Additionally, foreign immigration is waning and more people are leaving California for other states. As the federal government conducts the decennial census, some experts worry that the poor, the nonwhite and the undocumented will be undercounted. A new UCLA study led by Ong found that the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles County also tend to have the lowest census response rates and the highest rates of COVID-19 infection. “The only way to prevent an extreme undercount in some areas of the county would be for a horde of in-person census takers to descend on parts of the city with the greatest chance of coronavirus transmission,” Ong said in the study.
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