Acting Mayor Kim Janey Challenges Boston Census Results

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey sent a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau Friday announcing her plan to challenge Boston's results in the 2020 Census, according to a statement from the City of Boston.

Janey said her reasoning for challenging the results was that the Census likely omitted large portions of Boston's population of university students, foreign-born residents, and incarcerated people. She cited research from the Boston Planning and Development Agency Research Division.

Data from the BPDA suggests that there was an undercount of students in the city by around 5,000. Since most of the city's students were sent home in early 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, colleges were supposed to report their spring semester dorm populations to the Census themselves.

Additional analysis of the report from BPDA shows that around 500 people living in Boston's correctional facilities were not included in the Census count.

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The city's self-response rate for the 2020 Census dropped below 50 percent when compared to the 2010 Census. The mayor's office attributed this to areas with large amounts of foreign-born residents or off-campus college students—many of whom either left due to COVID or were potentially scared off by a potential citizenship question.

“An accurate census also ensures future planning accurately reflects the needs of our neighborhoods," Janey said in a statement. "We recognize the enormous challenges the Census Bureau faced conducting the 2020 Census during a pandemic, and we look forward to working together to obtain an accurate count for Boston.”

The city will provide the necessary evidence when the Census Bureau releases the guidelines for challenges, according to the statement.

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