Nearly 400,000 Latino infants and toddlers went uncounted during the last U.S. census—a figure that could have implications on their future education, according to a new report.
Researchers for the Child Trends Hispanic Institute and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund found that the 2010 census undercounted young Latino children at a higher rate than their non-Latino peers—7.1 percent, compared to 4.3. Seventy-two percent of the “invisible” Latinos live in five states—California, Texas, Florida, Arizona and New York.
That so many children were left off the census could mean less funding for programs like Head Start, a federally funded early-childhood education program that depends, in part, on census counts of the U.S. population under age 5. Other programs that might be affected include the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Child Care and Development Block Grant and the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, according to researchers.
The undercount of this group also reduces potential federal funding for state programs serving low-income families, even as 62 percent of young Latino children live in or near poverty.