Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Sid Salter: Mississippi Needs Accurate Census in 2020

We’ve spent most of the 2019 Mississippi general election cycle talking about the future of public healthcare and the state’s rural hospitals, the deteriorated condition of the state’s infrastructure system, and the needs of public education at all levels – with all three of those issues tied directly to the future of jobs and economic opportunity in the state moving forward.


And while the outcome of the 2019 elections will certainly impact all those issues, so will how good or poor a job our state does in making sure there is an effective decennial census is conducted in 2020. That process begins April 1, 2020. Every household is supposed to receive an invitation to respond to a census questionnaire by mail, by phone, or for the first time in U.S. history, online.

Why does the 2020 Census matter and particularly why does it matter in Mississippi? Despite significant recent economic growth, Mississippi remains saddled with the status as the poorest state in the union based on median income and poverty rates.

That means that the federal census determines how much Mississippi’s share of over half a trillion dollars will be after the counting is completed. The more Mississippians not counted, the less federal funds our state receives for roads and bridges, public healthcare such as Medicaid and Medicare, Pell Grants, Head Start, public housing, food stamps and a host of other federal spending programs that are population driven. The state drew down $10.1 billion in FY 2016.

Is Mississippi concerned about the outcome of the 2020 Census? Apparently so. On August 7, Gov. Phil Bryant created the Mississippi Complete Count Committee through executive order. In that order, it is plainly stated that: “it is essential that accurate data be collected from all Mississippians, including groups of people who have typically been underrepresented, including many young children, low-income individuals, military personnel, non-native English speakers, minorities, residents in newly-constructed developments, and rural residents.”

At the federal level, maps exist of so-called “hard to count” areas which illustrate the fact that in areas of the state where federal funds are in highest demand, response to the actual census counts are the lowest. In the 1st Congressional District, 79.4 percent of households responded to their Census questionnaires.

But in the 2nd District, the state’s poorest district, the response was 73.5 percent. The 3rd District saw a 76.9 percent response, while the 4th District saw 75.8 percent of households respond.

Even with online response capabilities in the coming census, there is fear and skepticism about getting accurate counts. Even in 2017, Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District saw 27.9 percent of households with no internet access. The 2nd District that same year saw 36.8 percent of households with no internet. Some 29.5 percent of 3rd District households and 26.2 percent of 4th District households had no internet access in 2017.

Poverty, insularity, and fear are the key components of an undercount in a Mississippi census. Enumerators who are afraid to enter areas where the residents don’t look like them is still a problem. There are the issues of language, cultural and bias barriers for the state’s Hispanic and Asian citizens. Then there are those who live in the shadows of status as illegal immigrants.

The Census is conducted with federal dollars. Gov. Bryant’s Complete Count executive order for facilitating a full enumeration in Mississippi will only be as good as the local committees that exist under the direction of Mississippi county and municipal governments – and activist groups who are also organizing and mobilizing.

Doing a credible job of the census could help the state’s clout in Congress, but that’s unlikely given the population growth necessary to pick up a seat. Mississippi lost a seat in the U.S. House after the 2000 Census.


Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at sidsalter@sidsalter.com.


23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Sid volunteering to walk through and attempt a head count in the 'Canton Trailer Park' or the '9th Ward' in West or South Jackson?

Anonymous said...

Mississippi is in NO DANGER of losing another seat based on the 2020 Census so don't be fooled by the brain drain crowd (whose only solution is to install tax and spend Democrats into office) that we are remotely at risk. We are not. Nor are we projected to lose a seat in 2030.

Anonymous said...

Thousands of illegals and their anchor babies. 10 to a trailer. They aren't going to like what they find.

Anonymous said...

What they are going to find is that the Mexicans are compensating for all of the college graduates fleeing the state.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if we lose one. None of the current group have any clout except Bennie, and he obviously doesn't care about helping anyone get off the bottom rung of the economic ladder.

Anonymous said...

Democrats have been working overtime to ensure that the census is not accurate by not even allowing the basic question — are you a legal citizen. Think about that. How can you learn as much about the citizens and population of America without finding out citizenship status? Spare me the “ sensitivity training” crap; this is ignorant. Optimal representation and correct allocation of funds require the most accurate figures possible. Yet certain political parties and activist organizations are fighting against accuracy. I hope Mississippi achieves 100% response and accuracy. Yet places like Southern California where illegals are protected and number around 4 million, chances are they will
Benefit far more than our state. Same reason dems want to get rid of the electoral college - the west coast globalist gain total control by doing so. The pathetic fight to insure our census is less accurate dooms flyover America and the poorest states. So please fill out your census data but realize that democrats have stacked the deck for areas with the highest concentration of illegals.

Anonymous said...

I do not know if the number of citizens overall does relate to funding for those who get entitlements, but if does, why?

Mississippi or any other state does not need, for example, food stamp, Medicaid, or primary school dollars based on overall population, it "needs" that money based upon the number of people in those programs. In other words, if state "X" has a population of 10 million people, with 100,000 on food stamps and 1.5 million kids in primary schools and state "Y" also has a population of 10 million, but with 200,000 on food stamps but only 1 million kids in schools, those states do not equal amounts of either food stamp money or school funding. That said, being state and federal government, it probably does not work sensibly at all.

Anonymous said...

Salters can sure point out the OBVIOUS. Do u PAY him for this??

Anonymous said...

10:08 am

You clearly don't understand the relationship between the census and federal dollars.

Non-citizens ( legal or illegal) drive on roads and bridges, go to schools and go to the hospital ERs . They use our utilities.

Not counting them hurts us all in getting federal dollars for infrastructure. That is calculated by the number of humans in a geographical area.

Because so many Mississippians haven't a clue about how government functions and won't listen to facts that would dispel their beliefs, we shoot ourselves in the foot and never ever get enough " investment" in the future to get in front of the challenges. The Southern states who finally faced reality, are passing us by.

Anonymous said...

11:12 Do you HAVE TO post this comment EVERY TIME KF shares a Salter column?????? I enjoy Sid's subject matter. Just keep scrolling if you don't.

Anonymous said...

Bennie hasn't had any clout since Clinton left office...

What little clout he has is from the low iq voters that keep electing him waiting for the next election fish fry!

But, what can you expect, look at the ratings of the schools in his district.

Anonymous said...

1:29 is right. Look at Alabama's growth since 2008 and ours. Last time I checked, they have a very "R" state government. Huntsville is leading a list of sites for the HQ of Space Command. Mobile landed the Airbus factory. On and on and on.

Mississippi is being left behind. That's just fact. You don't see it in the Jackson area..probably never will here. But try to find a hospital with an open ER in a rural area on your way to a football game..

Anonymous said...

Waiting on the results.
I suspect that it's going to be harder to Gerrymander 3 Republican districts.
Once the new majority understands it's clout, it's over boys.

Anonymous said...

1:29

You do not read clearly and assume facts not in evidence. Where does it suggest we not count illegals in 10:08 post? Just count accurately.
Not taking citizenship status into consideration and getting a true picture of the make up of the population is foolish and, yes, it skews political representation in countless areas. States and municipalities that either encourage or do nothing to prevent illegals, benefit from the increased numbers on census counts. In essence, it awards those who do not enforce our sovereignty and do not protect the rights of citizens. No one is going to suffer from answering the census truthfully. Dems just are juicing the books and voter roles with illegals. What’s more they act if you are a racist for even ascertaining whether people are legal citizens. Get the most accurate count possible and spare us the liberal pablum.

Anonymous said...

Citizens of this country deserve to know how many illegals reside in this country. We don't simply need a rooftop and headtop count. We ought to know who among us has no right to be here.

The Census Bureau asks me how far it is to my work, who is at home when I'm at work, whether a disabled person lives here, the size of my floor plan, number of toilets....Got Dammmm, can't we also ask who is illegal or not?

If I'm not mistaken, the Constitution only authorizes the government to take an accounting of PEOPLE, periodically. The next time around, you will be asked how many weapons are in the household and their calibre.

Anonymous said...

It would be a good idea to know how many guns you good ole boys have....just wait the shoe is about to be on the other foot. When you see what happens to BiBi and Trump when they lose, you will understand.

Anonymous said...

Waiting on the results.
I suspect that it's going to be harder to Gerrymander 3 Republican districts.
Once the new majority understands it's clout, it's over boys.


I suspect you've no clue whatsoever how the districts are drawn. It doesn't matter what the 2020 Census reveals. What matters most is who controls the MS House and Senate the morning of November 6th, 2019. It won't be your "new majority" and those 3 districts will stay solidly red. Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

Of course I wasn't talking about Missippi, y'all going to stay poor and dumb...you keep voting against your best interest.

Anonymous said...

"It would be a good idea to know how many guns you good ole boys have....just wait the shoe is about to be on the other foot. When you see what happens to BiBi and Trump when they lose, you will understand."

I'm sure you wear an orange shirt because you sound exactly like the perennial chirper from Tennessee who, on all the smack boards, tells us 'just wait til next year'.

But, to ease your discomfort, the answer is millions.

Anonymous said...

3:20 pm The " evidence" is supporting asking about legal status in the census.
My reading comprehension is fine. No illegal will participate in the census if that risks identifying them as someone to be deported.

There is zero evidence for your claim that " Dems are juicing the books and voter rolls with illegals". Indeed, every single attempt to " prove" voter fraud has resulted in only convicted felons on parole who thought they were eligible. Remember McDaniel looking for fraudulent votes? See the North Carolina effort by Republicans to prove voter fraud was a problem. TWO illegal votes in NC out of 12 suspicious votes and those two were because felons didn't know they couldn't vote until parole is over. Show me proof of illegals who voted. The town that " all voted for Obama"? Tiny African American town and they DID? You need to know how voting works these days. It ain't 1960 anymore!

Good grief, if you were illegal and worried about deportation, why on earth would you think going to vote and risking someone finding you suspicious would be a good plan?



Anonymous said...

... every single attempt to " prove" voter fraud has resulted in only convicted felons on parole who thought they were eligible.

Do you even read what you write before hitting publish? Or are your skills that bad? Not going to ask you for a link because I already know you won't be able to provide it.

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/north.mississippi.medical.center/photos/pcb.2479656092278135/2479655632278181/?type=3&theater&ifg=1

Anonymous said...

Several were convicted in Canton in the past 30 days. One was the female former police chief. Was she also a 'convicted felon on parole'. No, but she will be now.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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