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Undercounting children under age 5 for the 2020 Census could have dire consequences for their public services, health and education, this year’s Kids Count Data Book warns.

In 2010, the Census missed one million children under age 5 — the worst undercounting since 1950. Such undercounting, which has happened since 1980, has only gotten worse, said Florencia Gutierrez, senior research associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“If they’re not counted, the government doesn’t know they exist,” Gutierrez said. “Their needs are invisible.” This results in overcrowded classrooms and more kids without health insurance, she said.

The Kids Count Data Book is an annual report by the foundation, which promotes research and programs focused on improving the lives of children facing additional obstacles for education, health and jobs. The report compiles child welfare statistics in four domains: economic well being, education, health, and…

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