WASHINGTON – In a USA Today opinion piece, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, discuss the repercussions of undercounting millions of young children in the 2020 Census.
“We are on the verge of making such a mistake. It could cost almost every state billions of dollars in federal funding and harm millions of children,” Gupta and McCarthy wrote. “Ten years would be an especially long time to live with a mistake of our own making, one that could overcrowd classrooms, shutter needed health clinics and clear the shelves of food pantries.”
In 2010, young children had a higher net undercount rate than any other age group. Gupta and McCarthy warn that if young children are not fully counted in the 2020 Census, their communities will be denied equal representation and vital public and private resources.
Gupta and McCarthy outline tangible actions to improve the count of young children in the 2020 Census, including full funding of the Census Bureau, internet accessibility in vulnerable communities, and message development. They write, “Children under 5 are a very vulnerable population deserving of a country that will do right by them. That they are so likely to be missed in the Census is not on them, it’s on us. We can’t make them pay for 10 years for a mistake that we can avoid now. We must count all of these kids.”
The full opinion piece can be found here.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.