California has one year before a crucial census count. Money and clout are at stake

One statistic explains why so many California civic and nonprofit advocacy groups are worried about next year’s U.S. census: 72% of the state’s population belongs to one of the groups historically undercounted during the once-a-decade process.

Researchers believe as many as 1.3 million residents could be missed — a mistake with profound political and policy implications for the next decade.

“There’s really a lot riding on census data,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said at an event last week in Sacramento.

Monday is the one-year mark until Census Day, the official date for measuring the nation’s population, though final numbers won’t be available until the end of 2020. California’s demographers believe the state has grown by at least 2.5 million people since the last census in 2010.