Ong on High Stakes of Census Undercount

A CNN report on the high stakes of an inaccurate census called on Paul Ong, director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA Luskin, to provide analysis and expertise. A significant census undercount could have a sweeping impact: States could lose representatives in Congress. Children might miss out on needed funding for schools and other programs. Communities of color could get less funding for health care. Money for roads, bridges and transportation might fall short. Businesses might be stuck using flawed data for important decisions. The article cited an analysis, co-authored by Ong, that warned of a serious undercount of immigrants, low-income people and people of color. This could imperil funding for hospitals and health care clinics that serve these populations, as well as programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, Ong said. He added that census data also could be used to determine where to set up COVID-19 testing sites or how to prioritize vaccine distribution.

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