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Census understated Memphis by 16,000, mayor says | Lifestyles

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By MIKE SCHNEIDER – Associated Press

The mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, said the 2020 census understated his city of nearly 16,000 residents, leading him to join other major cities in challenging the count results once per decade in the United States.

Mayor Jim Strickland says the census missed 15,895 residents and that Memphis actually grew for the first time in 50 years between 2010 and 2020. The 2020 census, however, said Memphis had a population of 633,104 in 2020, a decrease of 13,785 inhabitants compared to 2010.

The count did not include an area that had been annexed in 2013, and it missed thousands of homes, mostly in newly built multi-family buildings, resulting in an undercount of 6,322 units, Strickland said in an August 19 letter to the US Census. Desk.

“The census count was wrong. The gains we’ve seen in investments in Memphis, particularly downtown, over the past few years tell a different story,” Strickland said. said in a weekly newsletter to his constituents.

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The 2020 census missed 4.8% of Tennessee’s population, the second-highest undercount of any U.S. state, according to a state-by-state assessment the Census Bureau made the quality of the count it made. Along with Arkansas, Florida, and Texas, Tennessee has not devoted as many resources as other states to encouraging residents to fill out census forms.

Memphis joins Austin, Texas, and Detroit among the largest attractive US cities, the population figures used in distributing $1.5 trillion in federal funding each year.

Since last week, about four dozen cities, towns and tribal areas have challenged their 2020 census figures, which have faced unprecedented challenges including the coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes and wildfires, and the political interference from the administration of then-President Donald Trump.

The 2020 census underestimated the overall US population by only 0.24%. But several minority groups have been underestimated at higher rates than in the previous decade. Historically, racial and ethnic minorities, tenants and young children are most at risk of being underestimated.

States and municipalities have until the middle of next year to appeal their census numbers, but the challenges are rarely successful and they won’t change the number of congressional seats each state gets, or the numbers used to redraw political districts.

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

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