Research on How to Reduce the Undercount of Young Kids in the 2020 Census

“At least 4 million U.S. children under age 5 live in neighborhoods with a very high risk of undercounting young children in the 2020 Census.” That’s the warning from a recent Population Reference Bureau (PRB) study with researcher Bill O’Hare, which identified predictive factors for where they’re “most likely to be missed” and new risk measurement.

The study suggested that the current primary measures “to identify areas where young children are more likely to be missed—the 2010 Census mail return rate and the Low Response Score (also based on mail return rates)—are not very good predictors of net undercount rates for young children in large counties. Using updated census data for the 689 counties, the new study points to data on family structure and living arrangements, recent immigration, and socioeconomic status as better predictors of the risk for child undercount.”

PRB hopes to “improve targeting of communities with the highest risk of undercounting young children.”

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