The 2020 U.S. census is just around the corner, and a new project shows a significant number of Fresno’s residents could be overlooked.
The U.S. Census Bureau maintains a Master Address File of every registered postal address in the country. Don’t have a registered address? You probably won’t be counted.
Cindy Quezada with the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative oversaw the project, and she says those housing units were overlooked because they’re so-called unconventional households.
“There were mostly converted garages,” she says, “and then after that were apartment units in the back, like smaller homes, sheds, and just a few RVs and trailers.”
Accurate population counts help determine federal funding levels. Ed Kissam with the WKF Giving Fund, which funded the pilot, says undercounts, especially in low-income communities, could mean millions of dollars less in aid.
“In 2015, federal funding in California amounted to around $1900 per person,” says Kissam.
Local jurisdictions have four months from now to update their master address files.