Florida TaxWatch said Thursday that Hurricane Ian recovery efforts are being hindered by the state’s undercount in the 2020 U.S. Census.
The non-profit group released a report titled, “A Key to Overcoming Disasters: Complete Census Data Reinforces Resiliency” and said the undercount reduces the state’s access to resources.
“A census undercount means emergency plans are based upon population counts smaller than reality, creating a blind spot for evacuation strategies, recovery efforts, and attempts to track the changing needs of the community,” the report said.
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In a prepared statement, Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro pointed to the effects on people rebuilding after the hurricane, saying that “because of Florida’s overwhelming undercount in the 2020 Census, they’re missing out on their fair share of federal funding.”
Florida had an estimated 3.48 percent undercount, representing about 750,600 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In July, TaxWatch estimated that Florida could have received up to $2.1 billion more from the federal government each year through 2030 if the 2020 count accurately reflected the population.
The Category 4 hurricane made landfall on Sept. 28 in Southwest Florida before crossing the state.