Livingston, R. (2021). Georgians at risk: Understanding variations in 2020 U. S. Census self-response rates. The Young Researcher, 5(1), 208-219.
Despite the United States Census Bureau’s efforts to get complete and accurate counts of all U.S.residents in its decennial censuses, researchers have repeatedly found that there remain “hard-to-count” populations that are underrepresented in the final numbers. These hard-to-count populations disproportionately include residents living in poverty, racial and ethnic minorities, and residents living in rural communities. In preparation for the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau introduced online responding as the preferred method of self-response to the census in order to improve response rates and decrease inequities in the final counts, while reducing the overall cost of administering the census. With the introduction of online responding, researchers and community activists raised concerns that unequal broadband coverage puts the traditionally hard-to-count populations at an even greater disadvantage for the census. This research study uses correlation analysis and simple regression analysis to determine if the historical patterns of underrepresentation of hard-to-count populations improved in 2020 with the changes in counting methods. The results of the analyses indicate that the changes failed to achieve their goals, especially for poor and rural Georgia residents.
Keywords: United States census 2020, Georgia census, census undercounts, internet self-response, hard-to-count