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Potential State Impacts of the 2020 Census

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) recently published a report pertaining to the next Census which will be conducted in 2020. The results of the Census are used in several ways, including to distribute seats in the House of Representatives, to determine legislative districts, and to inform the amount of federal funds allocated to states for certain programs. With this in mind, the report evaluates how the state may be impacted by an undercount in 2020.

The report makes note that an undercount, where there are more people living in an area than are counted by the Census, could in the 2020 Census. However, the LAO concludes that a significant undercount is unlikely. As a result, the risk of California losing a congressional seat is low. The report further states that at worst, an undercount could result in the state losing tens of millions of dollars in federal funding. In budgetary terms, this amount of money is very small. Nonetheless, the report maintains the importance of an accurate count in 2020.

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