Report says Detroit population undercounted in 2020 Census, Duggan says it was intentional

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Thursday that there is evidence that Detroit was undercounted in the 2020 Census and it cost the city millions of dollars in funding.

Duggan spoke in Detroit as two universities, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, released new evidence of a severe undercount of the city's population.

According to Duggan, the census let down the city's residents and part of the problem lies in allowing people to fill out the census form online.

"All we want as Detroiters is to be counted. They had one job, and they missed by a huge number," he said.

Duggan and researchers from the two universities said the city's results weren't properly counted. According to the 2020 Census, the city showed a drop in population of 31,000 people from the 2019 census estimate. He said that data is false and believes it was done on purpose.

"This is the first time I’ve ever seen an effort in which I believe there was an intentional decision not to count Detroit properly," Duggan said.

Researchers said one red flag was vacancy rates in some of Detroit's most residentially stable neighborhoods. The Census showed vacancies in those neighborhoods between 10 and 17 percent.

Both Wayne State and the U.S. Postal Service say their results show vacancies less than 10 percent in those same areas.

Duggan said the Trump Administration is at fault and the government let the city of Detroit down.

"There’s no doubt that the last administration shut down the census prematurely."

Brenda Jett and Clois Foster both worked for the Census Bureau last year as counters. They told horror stories of how unorganized and unprepared the Detroit bureau was.

Due to the alleged loss in population, the city lost a large amount of money to fund schools and social service programs.

"There just needs to be more education. The services that they rely on will not be there if they don’t get counted," Jett said.

Duggan plans to challenge the results by taking the findings to the Commerce Department. If that doesn't work, he'll take the fight to the federal court.