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Minorities Undercounted in 2010 U.S. Census

The 2010 Census is being described as successful thanks to outreach and advertising campaigns.
Photo by KUT News
The 2010 Census is being described as successful thanks to outreach and advertising campaigns.

An analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census shows the population was slightly overcounted, by about 0.01 percent or 36,000 people.

That means the latest census was more accurate than the 2000 Census, which had an overcount of about 0.49 percent. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves says the 2010 Census was "outstanding." But the analysis found that accuracy varied by demographics.

The 2010 Census overcounted whites by .08 percent, undercounted 2.1 percent of the African-American population, and undercounted 1.5 percent of the Hispanic population. It's the approximately 775,000 Latinos that were not counted that concerns the National Institute for Latino Policy.
"The undercount actually could have been worse if not for outreach and connections to the community that the Census Bureau undertook … and the major advertising campaign as well, that focused on Latino audiences," NILP president Angelo Falcón told public radio station KJZZ.

Falcon says the undercount is concerning because it can affect funding for federal programs as well as redistricting maps. He says he hopes to get more information to try and determine where the undercounts took place.

The Census Bureau says they did not measure a statistically significant undercount for the Asian or for the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations in 2010. The count of American Indian and Alaska Native population varied by geography.

Groves says ethnic and racial minorities are more likely to rent their homes. And that makes them harder to accurately count.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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