2010 Census Missed More than 1.5M Minorities

Hope Yen, NPR, May 22, 2012

The 2010 census missed more than 1.5 million minorities after struggling to count black Americans, Hispanics, renters and young men, but was mostly accurate, the government said Tuesday.

The Census Bureau released an extensive assessment of its high-stakes, once-a-decade headcount of the U.S. population. Based on a sample survey, the government analysis has been a source of political controversy in the past over whether to “statistically adjust” census results to correct for undercounts, which usually involve minorities who tend to vote Democratic.

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However, the census missed about 2.1 percent of black Americans and 1.5 percent of Hispanics, together accounting for some 1.5 million people. The percentages are statistically comparable to 2000, despite an aggressive advertising and minority outreach effort in 2010 that pushed total census costs to an unprecedented $15 billion.

Also undercounted were about 5 percent of American Indians living on reservations and nearly 2 percent of minorities who marked themselves as “some other race.”

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