Pinal County officials plan to challenge census results
Pinal County officials plan to formally challenge the 2020 census results, which counted far fewer people in the county than expected.
The county has seen a boom in new housing in recent years and County Attorney Kent Volkmer told the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday that local authorities expected last year’s census would show the county had a population of between 465,000 and 490,000.
Instead, the census listed the county as having a population of about 425,000.
“They again show what was considered minimal growth when we were expecting exponential growth,” he told the board.
The tally for Pinal County is an increase of about 50,000 from a decade earlier.
And in a statement, the US Census Bureau said 2020 results so far are in line with global benchmarks.
But Volkmer suspects the census undercounted low-income local residents and residents who don’t speak English.
Throughout the census, local officials across the country and other observers have raised concerns that similar communities may be undercounted due to a range of issues, changes in the process counting to the COVID-19 pandemic and a controversial push by the Trump administration to include a question on citizenship.
A recent Associated Press study found that in many places, including parts of Arizona, the share of Hispanic and black populations in the latest census counts was lower than estimates and an annual Census survey. Office.
An undercount can have long-term consequences. Census data is used by businesses and academic researchers. The data informs how governments allocate funds and determine how many seats each state receives in Congress as well as how legislative district boundaries are drawn. While Arizona was expected to receive a tenth seat due to its growing population, for example, it did not get one.
Volkmer said the county may ask the US Census Bureau to revise its tally in a process that begins in January.