Florida population

Florida TaxWatch: Sunshine State needs better census numbers

Thusday, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) published an economic report remark titled “TThe Economic and Fiscal Importance of the U.S. Census and American Community Survey (ACS)”.

The report highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2020 Census data collection efforts, including disruptions to ACS, and highlights how it affects federal funding and critical decision-making among policy makers and business leaders.

Dominic Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch weighed in on the report.

“According to United States Census Bureau, the 2020 census underestimated the national population by 782,000 individuals, and preliminary estimates suggest that nearly 207,000, or more than a quarter, were Floridians. With our state’s population totaling over 21 million, that may not seem like a lot, but the sad reality is that we’re short by at least $14.6 billion more in federal funding over 10 years. For too long, Florida has not received its fair share of funds and support from federal funding programs, and Florida taxpayers deserve better,” Calabro said.

“Additionally, the data that drives critical public and private sector decisions is at risk, involving everything from supply chains and workforce planning to affordable housing and safety net programs. We can’t wait until 2030 and the next census to improve our market intelligence and critical planning capability, so Florida TaxWatch is taking the lead in working with communities, businesses, and elected leaders to identify ways to to improve demographic and socioeconomic data collected through the American Community Survey, which underpins federal funding for various programs,” he added.

“Florida has been a donor state for quite a long time. To ensure federal, state, and local spending is allocated responsibly and efficiently, Florida TaxWatch will focus on efforts to provide better counts and more accurate community, demographic, and market information,” Calabro said. in conclusion.

FTW quoted the Post-censal survey (PES) released after the 2020 Census, which indicate that the White and Asian populations experienced overcounts of 1.6 and 2.6 percent respectively, and the Black, Hispanic, Native American/Alaska Native categories experienced undercoverage rates ranging from 0.91% to 5.0%. Notably, children under four were also undercounted by 2.79%, the largest undercount for that age group since 1970.

In Florida, self-response rates — which are strongly correlated with net undercounts and higher missed rates — were reported at 63.8%, or 34th in the nation. Central Florida and Jacksonville-area counties had some of the highest self-response rates, while Northwest Florida, Big Bend and South-Central Florida areas had some of the highest self-response rates. experienced relatively low self-response rates, ranging between 32 and 48%.

Across the country, 316 federal spending programs rely on census-derived data, including results from the ACS, to allocate $1.5 trillion to state and local governments, households, businesses and organizations to non-profit, in addition to supporting programs such as A lead, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Pell grants, and more. Although FTW research showed that Florida consistently receives less funding per capita than all other states – the result of historical undercounting – a 2017 study found census-guided federal spending totaled 86, $8 billion in Florida, or 8.8% of the state’s total revenue that year. .

While the fiscal impacts are significant, another concern is how missing information important to public and private planners compromises the ability to properly plan critical infrastructure and programs. Census and ACS derived data and forecasts are essential for customer and market intelligence, workforce planning, infrastructure and community design, social programs, research and local and national budgeting.

FTW is also launching a new census institute to build on its ongoing work to ensure Florida is accurately counted, fairly represented, and receives fair levels of federal, state, and local funding after the next census in 2030. More information about this effort and how to join will be available soon.

Florida Daily
Latest articles by Florida Daily (see everything)