The Texas Demographic Conference is an annual meeting providing updates of demographic and socioeconomic data available for Texas Demographers, Economists, Planners, Marketers, State and Local Governments, Diverse Businesses, Media, Consultants, and Data Center Affiliate Agencies.
Texas Census Institute team members Dr. Castellanos-Sosa and Regina Nippert were invited to present at the 2023 Texas Demographic Conference, organized by the Texas Demographic Center. Together they led a workshop presenting the relevance of census data accuracy, the challenges to collecting it, and the importance of engaging historically undercounted communities in achieving a more accurate 2030 Census following Texas’ 500,000+ person undercount in the 2020 Census.
Dr. Castellanos-Sosa, senior researcher, emphasized the national-and state-level importance of accurate census data. He demonstrated how these data impact the distribution of federal funds, determine apportionment and district boundaries, inform planning and evaluation of public and privately funded programs, and contribute to closing policy gaps for underserved populations. In addition to detailing how undercounting is measured at the state level by the Post-Enumeration Survey, Dr. Castellanos-Sosa explained how the Texas Census Institute established a first theoretical alternative to measure undercounting at the county and regional level, remarking the role of self-response rates in increasing accuracy of estimates obtained by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Regina Nippert, human systems design strategist, focused on the basics of community engagement methodology and how fundamental principles which have emerged from the fields of medical research and community psychology might help guide census engagement strategies in underserved and under-resourced communities. Ms. Nippert stressed the importance of early engagement and of capacity building for data use, which can lead not only to a more complete census count, but also to the additional beneficial outcome of equipping community leaders and change agents for successful implementation of publicly funded programs.