In 2017, about 72% of all Californians belonged to one or more groups that have been historically undercounted in the census, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. That’s 29 million people, many of them renters, young men, children, African Americans and Latinos, who have a lower response rate. People without a home or living in nonstandard housing, such as garages and trailers, are also hard to reach. In addition, many of these people may lack a reliable internet connection.
Moreover, immigrants worried about revealing their legal status may be reluctant to fill out the questionnaire.
To get the most accurate count, California is spending $187.2 million in marketing campaigns on TV, radio and billboards, as well as coordinating with community organizations to get households to complete and turn in their questionnaires.