Project Case Study

Dissemination of Child Trends report: “The Invisible Ones: How Latino Children Are Left Out of Our Nation’s Census Count”

Sep 13, 2016


Project Description

With preparation underway for the 2020 Census, a report from the Child Trends Hispanic Institute and National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund called for targeted efforts to accurately count young Latino children. The report revealed that more than 400,000 Latino children under age four were left uncounted in the 2010 Census, which likely impacted federal resource allocations to a number of counties and states. William O’Hare, the lead researcher, calculated the net undercounts by comparing the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2010 Population Estimates for the population aged 0 to 4 to the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census Counts for this age group.

The report found that the undercount of young Latino children is heavily concentrated. Five states—California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, and New York—account for nearly three quarters of the net undercount, with 33 percent occurring in California alone. The total undercount is largely limited to the biggest 25 counties in the United States. Funding for this report and related communications activities was provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

PAF map v2

Communications Strategies and Tactics

Child Trends, in partnership with NALEO, developed and executed a concerted, wide-reaching outreach effort targeted to key audiences such as policymakers, advocacy and membership organizations, thought leaders, Hispanic community leaders, and the media. We implemented  a robust strategic communications plan, which included briefing legislative leaders on Capitol Hill, outreach to national, local, and Hispanic media, hosting a national webinar for providers, policymakers, and researchers, and promotion of the report through social media.  Child Trends and NALEO distributed advanced copies of the report to an exclusive list of reporters from outlets such as the Dallas Morning News, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times before the release date. We orchestrated a proactive social media push on launch day and the report headlined that week’s edition of the E-News, Child Trends E-News: Census undercounts young children, which was sent to 27,000 subscribers.


Media coverage—More than twenty media outlets covered the report findings. This included coverage on FOX and NBC News, and in the Huffington Post, Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle. In addition, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed piece co-authored by Child Trends President Carol Emig and NALEO Educational Fund’s Executive Director Arturo Vargas on May 3. Telemundo covered the release of the report and the resulting broadcast package was syndicated in dozens of media outlets nationwide. Coverage is pending on Univision

Webinar— More than 150 people attended a webinar to communicate the report findings on May 18. Attendees include state officials from Tennessee, Maryland, Arkansas, and Nebraska, as well as staffers for Senators Reid, Feinstein, Booker, Heller, Schumer, McCain, and Gillibrand. A couple of representatives from the Census Bureau joined as well.

Social media—Social media messages were circulated across Twitter to reach more than 224,000 followers. Child Trends recorded noteworthy social media mentions from The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (17.4k followers), NBC Latino (48.2k followers), Voto Latino (50.9k followers), First Focus (28.6k followers), Reform Immigration for America (21.5k followers), and All Things Census (12k followers). To add to the reach of these supportive stakeholders, Child Trends engaged the public through strategic posts on its own digital media channels, reaching an additional audience of more than 46,000 organizations and individuals.

Briefing—Representatives and staff members from more than thirteen congressional offices attended a Capitol Hill briefing on the report findings on April 26. Notable attendees included staff from the offices of Representatives Tony Cardenas (CA), Sam Farr (CA), Judy Chu (CA), John Lewis (GA), Don Beyer (VA), Lucille Roybal Allard (CA), Hank Johnson (GA), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Marcia Fudge (OH), Rubén Hinojosa (TX), Michael Capuano (MA), and Xavier Becerra (CA), and the office of Senator Maria Elaine Cantwell (WA). Other attendees included representatives from Project Vote, the Migration Policy Institute, Fair Vote, the United States Census Bureau, the American Psychological Association, the Alliance for Early Success, and the Administration for Children and Families, just to name a few.

Released April 26, 2016