National City Prepares For 2020 Census After Undercount In 2010
Officials and business leaders in National City next year are aiming to avoid a repeat of the 2010 census when, they believe, their immigrant-majority city was undercounted.
At a press conference on Thursday morning, Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis said her office estimates that the 2010 census undercounted the residents of National City by almost 30%.
And that was before the Trump administration waged a yearslong and ultimately unsuccessful effort to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. National City’s population is more than 40% foreign-born.
Letting people know that their information is secure is something the city is focusing on heading into next April’s census.
“There’s no citizenship question on the census. It is a nine-question survey that should be quick, painless and easy,” Sotelo-Solis said.
Low participation in the 2010 census hurt the growing, low-income city when it came to both federal support and representation in Washington. Sotelo-Solis says the city will focus on making sure that residents on both ends of the age spectrum participate.
“We know that 0-5 ages are undercounted, and our older adult population is undercounted,” Sotelo-Solis told KPBS. “We want to be purposeful in our efforts and partnerships through the city with agencies that are trusted, and that will make sure people know that a census is coming and that there’s no doubt that the information collected will not be used for nefarious purposes.”
After the press conference, the mayor and census officials led a presentation for local groups on how they can spread the word about the upcoming census.
National City is in the process of applying for part of the $1.56 million that the San Diego Association of Governments has set aside to help local governments launch efforts to get as close to 100% participation in the upcoming census as they can.