New population estimates and projection have been released ahead of the final 2020 census results.
The U.S. Census Bureau released the demographic analysis on Dec. 15, which includes national-level estimates of the population by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin as of April 1, 2020.
Separate from the once-in-a-decade head count of each U.S. citizen, demographic analysis uses birth records, death records, data on international migration, and Medicare enrollment records to help the accuracy of the official 2020 U.S. Census numbers.
Alabama has a population estimate of 4,921,532 people, according to the demographic analysis. In July of 2019, the estimate was 4,903,185 people living in the state.
The demographic analysis estimates are one of two methods used to measure coverage and helps understand what population groups may have been undercounted or over counted.
The information from the other method, the post-enumeration survey, is used to estimate how many people and housing units were missed or counted incorrectly in the 2020 census and is scheduled to be available in November 2021.
The most accurate source is the self-response information citizens provide when filling out their census forms, the U.S. Census says. The good news is Alabama had a household-response rate of 99.9% as reported by Alabama Counts!, the state’s 2020 census committee.
Census data affects federal funding, how counties plan for the future and citizen representation in government.
Alabama was projected back in the spring to lose one House seat due to the state’s slowed population growth, but a University of Michigan research apportionment calculator shows the state may be poised to keep the seat by 6,210 people – the smallest margin in the nation.
The Census Bureau is still processing the 2020 data to deliver complete and accurate state population counts as close to the Dec. 31, 2020, deadline as possible.
The coronavirus pandemic hit just as census mailings began in March and it was the first of several challenges to the bureau this year. The Census stuck to its original deadlines despite challenges and stopped collecting census responses on Oct. 15.