News & Politics

Nearly 14,400 Washingtonians Weren’t Counted in the Census, New Report Says

DC had a higher undercount rate than any state

Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Mr.TinDC

The 2020 Census undercounted the District of Columbia’s population by an estimated 2.05 percent, or 14,410 people, according to a new study.

The Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group, conducted a simulation of the census using projected population counts, and found that DC had a higher net undercount in than any states. While the highest undercounts for states were in Texas and Mississippi where 1.3 and 1.28 percent, respectively, of each state’s population was undercounted, the District would top the list if it was a state.

The Washington region, as a whole was undercounted by almost 0.36 percent, or 55,321 people, in the Census. Maryland had a net undercount of 0.48 percent, or 29,934 people, and Virginia was undercounted by 0.13 percent, or 10,977 people.

These differences translate to how much federal funding is allocated to Medicaid programs across the United States. While the study concluded that there would no difference in the amount of federal Medicaid reimbursements that Maryland would receive if the undercounted population was taken into account, Virginia would potentially receive $42 million dollars less in 2021 Medicaid reimbursements.

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Damare Baker
Assistant Editor

Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.