“Between budget cuts, politics, and the pandemic, the 2020 census — an already complex and massive undertaking — has been more difficult to pull off. Experts have been warning for years that the 2020 census is underfunded to the point that it could affect its accuracy. This underfunding predates Trump’s presidency, but Trump hasn’t helped matters.
“We’ve never had a pandemic like this; we’ve never had a political climate this bad,” Romalewski said. “In some ways, it’s impressive that we’ve even gotten to this level. But we know that in 2010, even with a higher self-response rate, there were still problems with the accuracy, the count, as far as certain population groups go. So despite the challenges, we still need to do better.”
Trump was determined to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, the justification for which remained elusive — which was why the Supreme Court struck it down. But Trump’s push for it still discouraged many undocumented immigrants from responding. Their undocumented status could also mean they don’t show up in the administrative records the Bureau will use to fill in the numbers of people who weren’t counted by enumerators or self-responses.”