Risk of Undercounting Native Tribal Populations, Akee Says

Associate Professor of Public Policy Randall Akee was featured in a Spokesman-Review article discussing the risks of undercounting Northwest tribal community populations. The Census Bureau announced that it will cut door-to-door counting short by a month, leaving census workers scrambling to meet the new deadline of Sept. 30. Indigenous people living on reservations were undercounted more than any other group in the 2010 census, the article noted. Tribal leaders fear that the shortened timeline could lead to an even more drastic undercount this year, resulting in less federal funding and other resources for tribes. Akee explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled self-response rates. “There are so many competing messages about other things, and it’s hard for this to take hold in communities where people are worried about their economic stability and their actual health,” he said. “Filling out a census form is further down in people’s priorities.”

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