On April 26, 2021, the United States Census Bureau released the first population counts following the 2020 Census. The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is eager to examine the extent to which the disability community was accurately and equitably represented in the 2020 Census.
Currently, the apportionment data only includes state population counts and reports preliminary changes to congressional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Apportionment calculations reveal that while most states will keep the same number of congressional seats, six states will gain seats, while seven will each lose one seat. The data release does not yet encompass specific information about any population demographics such as race, ethnicity, gender, or age. This information is essential to ensure that historically underrepresented groups (including persons with disabilities) are accounted for in the 2020 Census.
The Census Bureau announced that they intend to provide states with more specific redistricting insights by August 16, 2021, and that a complete redistricting toolkit will be released by September 30, 2021. “Although significant work remains to be done in connection with the 2020 Census, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) network, our civil rights partners, Census Bureau staff, and everyone who tirelessly worked to ensure a fair, accurate, and accessible 2020 Census count,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker.
“It was a long, turbulent road for the 2020 Census; last year’s official population count encountered a global pandemic, natural disasters, displacement, operational challenges beyond belief, but despite it all, people across the country came together and worked towards a count that represents us all for the next decade,” continued Decker.
As the Census Bureau continues to tabulate crucial 2020 Census data, NDRN looks forward to continuing its work with the Census Bureau, the members the nationwide network of P&A agencies, and our partners to ensure that no community, including the disability community, is overlooked, or forgotten in America’s decennial population count.
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.