May 24, 2022 - News

2020 Census overcounted Ohio residents

States with significant miscounts in the <br>2020 census
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Ohio is used to having an outsized national influence, but the U.S. Census Bureau took things a little too far.

Driving the news: The 2020 census reported 11.8 million Ohioans, overcounting the state's population by around 175,000 residents, according to a follow-up survey released last week.

Why it matters: Every 10 years, census data divvies up the nation's 435 congressional seats and helps the federal government distribute funds for infrastructure needs along with social safety net programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Meals on Wheels.

What happened: In the course of tallying up more than 300 million Americans, some people are accidentally counted twice or wrongly included, such as those born after April 1, 2020.

  • The report notes "many challenges, such as conducting fieldwork during the COVID-19 pandemic," as a likely cause.

Yes, but: This counting error likely didn't impact the number of seats Ohio has in D.C. for the next decade.

  • Despite the overcount, we still lost a seat in the redistricting process ā€” going from 16 to 15.

Our take: Look, it's understandable that the government wishes there were more Ohioans. We're pretty awesome.

  • Ohio is still expected to get its fair share of congressional seats and federal grant funding, and that's what matters most.

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