Census Bureau Director nominee Robert Santos wears glasses and a suit and sits at a podium on Capitol Hill.

Ong on Reforms to Uphold Census Integrity

UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge Director Paul Ong spoke to the Associated Press about ways to address flaws in how the U.S. Census is conducted. The Census Bureau found that Black, Hispanic, American Indian and other minority residents were undercounted at greater rates in 2020 than in the previous decade, prompting discussion about ways to better measure changes in the U.S. population. In 2020, the Trump administration unsuccessfully attempted to use administrative records to determine the number of people in the country illegally in order to influence the allocation of congressional seats. Ong noted that any effort to revamp how the count is conducted will need to be protected from similar efforts to misuse the count for political purposes. “The 2020 enumeration was a wakeup call,” Ong said. “The Census Bureau has a very important and fundamental function in our society. It is the keeper of our demographic truths.”

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