The 2010 census missed more than 1.5 million minorities, after struggling to count Black Americans, Hispanics, renters, and young men.
The Census Bureau on Tuesday 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.
The findings show the 2010 census over-counted the total U.S. population by 36,000 people, or 0.01 percent, due mostly to duplicate counts of affluent whites owning multiple homes. That is an improvement from a census over-count of 0.5 percent in 2000.
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 under-counted were about 5 percent of American Indians living on reservations and nearly 2 percent of minorities who marked themselves as “some other race.”
The South, led by the District of Columbia, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, was more likely to have people who were missed.