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Census undercount leads to funding shortfall

Florida residents were undercounted in the last census, although Southwest Florida counties did pretty well at responding. Six states were undercounted in the 2020 census, and Florida was one of them. About 750,000 residents statewide went uncounted. This is important because the census is used to determine funding levels for more than 300 federal programs.

Meg Canaan is a Senior Research Analyst for Florida Tax Watch.

“So we think that the state will be shortchanged at least $11 billion before the end of the decade,” she said.

Some of the highest self-response rates in Florida came locally, with Sarasota County at 66.1%, Charlotte County at 64.5%, and Lee County at 60.7%, meaning residents responded without needing prompting from the census bureau.

The national self-response rate was 65.2%.

The next count will take place in 2030, so residents should get ready to be accurately counted then, in the hope that funding will be allocated more appropriately.

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Cary Barbor