Making Up for Flaws in the Census Making Up for Flaws in the Census

Making Up for Flaws in the Census

April 10, 2010
After much gnashing of teeth, the U.S. Census Bureau won't be using statistical sampling in their findings this year. This means that the government's perception of who makes up the country will be totally based on who fills out their census forms, so that groups that historically don't fill out the form will end up being underrepresented in the government's understanding of who lives in the country. In California, that could potentially result in an error of more than 1.5 million people, which affects everything from the number of Congressional representatives to allocation of government services.

At Planetizen, Josh Stephens looks at the issues facing California with the new census and how to fix them:

The most pressing issue, therefore, for California's demographers and planners to find out exactly how many people live in the state – a figure that is currently disputed to the tune of 1.5 million people. That's the difference between the 38.3 million residents that the California Department of Finance estimated as of January 1, 2009 and the 36.7 million that the Census Bureau estimated at the same time. Though both figures are based on the 33.8 million logged in the 2000 Census they have diverged over the past decade due to differing estimates of domestic in- and out-migration.

Read the rest of Stephens's piece here at Planetizen.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Josh Koonce.

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Making Up for Flaws in the Census