Ong on Census Challenges in Latino Communities

A New York Times story on the challenges of getting an accurate 2020 census count, particularly among Latino communities, cited Paul Ong, director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA Luskin. In California, governments and nonprofits have spent $187 million on outreach efforts, but comments from President Trump have made many Latinos wary of the census, the article noted. In addition, the Census Bureau has shortened the window for participating, and COVID-19 has curtailed the activities of census takers. Ong’s research team has found that Latinos nationwide are responding to the census at lower rates than in 2010. By August, the estimated median response rate was 50%, down by nearly 13 percentage points from a decade ago. Among non-Hispanic whites, the estimated response rate was 69%, compared with 71% a decade ago. “We will have a flawed census that will be fatal to certain groups,” Ong said.


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