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Ducey: Arizona didn’t underperform in 2020 Census

Arizona performed well in the 2020 Census, despite a lower-than-expected population figure that cost the state a projected 10th congressional district and potentially hundreds of millions in federal funding over the next decade, Gov. Doug Ducey told reporters on Thursday.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated last year that Arizona had more than 7.4 million residents, which would have been an increase of more than a million from the 2010 Census. Arizona’s Office of Economic Opportunity estimated last summer that the state had just under 7.3 million.

But when the Census Bureau announced its results in late April, it found that Arizona had 7,158,923 people. The figure was about 79,500 below the threshold Arizona needed to hit to qualify for a 10th congressional district, which was widely expected.

Ducey doesn’t think the state’s population was undercounted and doesn’t believe anything went wrong with the Census in Arizona. He touted the state’s 64.1% self-response rate on the Census, which exceeded the 61.3% rate in 2010 and the 63% rate in 2000.

“It was actually our best reporting in the last 20 years in terms of self-reporting. Arizona’s grown. It continues to grow. So other states grew faster. You’ve got to have the numbers,” the governor told reporters on Thursday after an event at Scales Technology Academy in Tempe.

Some have questioned whether the Census undercounted Latinos, which would have a substantial impact on Arizona. Former President Donald Trump’s administration sought to include a question about citizenship in the Census for the first time since 1950, a move that Ducey publicly supported. Though the question was ultimately not included, some question whether it discouraged Latinos from participating in the Census.

The New York Times noted that other states with relatively disappointing Census results spent little compared to states that overperformed against expectations. Arizona, the paper reported, spent only $1.5 million.

Ducey said spending on the Census wasn’t an issue.

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“Spending doesn’t produce people.” he said.

If Arizona’s population was undercounted, it will cost the state far more than an extra congressional district and Electoral College vote. Census figures help determine the federal funding allocated to states on a per-person basis.

The Ducey administration in early 2020 said each Arizona resident represented about $887 in federal funding, and said a 1% undercount would cost the state at least $620 million over the next decade.

This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.

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1 comment on this story

May 9, 2021, 5:13 pm
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Ducey says, “Spending doesn’t produce people.”
What a nitwit.
Tell Toyota (or any of the hundreds of large advertisers) that spending doesn’t produce buyers.
As Trump and Ducey have shown, there are no specific qualifications, nor a minimum intelligence level, to hold high public office in this country.
His support of Trump’s intentional muddling of the 2020 Census conversation will be his ongoing legacy long after he leaves office to sell ice cream again, or whatever he decides to do. (Maybe he can become a waiter at Mar-a-Lago, at least until Trump is taken to prison.)
God save us from Trumpies.

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U.S. Census Bureau

Ducey doesn’t think the state’s population was undercounted and doesn’t believe anything went wrong with the census in Arizona, despite the state not meeting the expected threshold needed to qualify for a 10th congressional district.