In 2010, nearly 1 million children were left out of the U.S. census. Since then, states have missed out on at least $550 million a year in various federal funds.
Now advocates and experts are sounding the alarm about the potential consequences of an even more inaccurate count in 2020, NBC News reported. Factors such as confusion over whether a citizenship question would be added the census and changes to how the Census Bureau is conducting the survey could threaten the accuracy of the next counts.
Children's advocates have started taking measures to reduce child undercounts in 2020 and beyond, adding more specific language about children and babies to solicitation materials and clarifying the language on the question that asks people to list everyone in their household to remind people to include children and babies.
"When we count kids, there’s more federal funding for children’s health insurance, for child care, for foster care, for adoption, for schools, for special education, for all the programs that kids need,” Deborah Stein, network director of the nonprofit Partnership for America’s Children, said. "Kids do better when they're counted."