Research at the City University of New York may improve future census counts

An interactive tool developed by the university is hoped to bring adequate federal funding to undercounted populations.

The City University of New York’s (CUNY) Graduate Center recently developed an interactive map to illustrate populations at risk of being undercounted and improve future US census counts.

The Census 2020 Hard to Count Map, which launched in early September, utilizes data from the US Census Bureau and national outreach organizations to identify the hardest to count (HTC) census tracts in the United States.

Inaccurate census counts often lead to inadequate federal funding and political misrepresentation for certain regions and social groups. With the information provided by CUNY’s map, state governments and human rights organizations will be able to locate which districts they should focus outreach efforts on, said Steven Romalewski, director of the CUNY Mapping Service.

“It’s available for anyone to use,” Romalewski told Scoop News. “Any organization that is involved in planning for the census and wants to help make sure the 2020 census is done accurately and fairly can use this map to support their work.”


This push for a fair census is further supported by work at the George Washington University, where research professor Andrew Reamer is studying the decennial census’ impact on the geographic distribution of government funds.

“I think there is a connection between accuracy and fair distribution,” Reamer said in an interview with StateScoop. “The aim of this study is to make the public more aware.”

StateScoop has more on the development and expected effects of the Census 2020 Hard to Count Map.

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