May 24, 2022 - Politics

Census undercounted TN's population

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Tennessee's population was significantly undercounted in the 2020 census.

  • The undercount was by 4.8%, according to a report released earlier this month by the U.S. Census Bureau based on post-census surveys.
  • Tennessee is one of 14 states that were miscounted.

Why it matters: The update paints a clearer picture of Tennessee's growth in the last decade, as our population grew to 6.9 million people in 2020.

How it works: A state's census data is used to direct an array of government services. It's also used to allot seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and to guide the once-per-decade state legislative redistricting process.

Yes, but: Despite the undercount, it's too late to correct congressional reapportionment. That means the miscounted figures will stick, Axios's Stef W. Kight reports.

  • An accurate count could have put Tennessee in the area of deserving a 10th House seat.
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