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Contact: Decennial Media Relations
The Commerce Department's Census Bureau announced today that preliminary estimates showed an apparent improvement in the coverage of Census 2000 over 1990, including reductions in the differential undercounts of certain population groups.
The Census 2000 preliminary estimate of the undercount rate for the total population ranges from 0.96 to 1.4 percent. The national undercount rate in 1990 was 1.6 percent. Significant reduction occurred in the undercount rates for non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics. For American Indians on reservations, the undercount in Census 2000 will be well below the 12.2 percent figure reported in 1990. Also, while there remains a difference in coverage rates for owners and renters, the undercount of renters appears to have been significantly reduced from 1990 to 2000. And coverage for children under 18 years old improved notably. For American Indians off reservations, Asians, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, there are no comparable data for 1990.
The attached tables show 1990 net undercount rates and the preliminary undercount ranges for Census 2000 for selected population, tenure and age groups.
"This is important news," said William G. Barron, acting director of the Census Bureau. "Thanks to the cooperation of the American public, the more than 500,000 people who worked on Census 2000, a highly successful advertising campaign and outreach program, and the work of more than 140,000 partners, we think we have results in which the country can be proud. While these preliminary estimates indicate that there are still undercounts for some groups, I believe we have taken a significant step toward improving census accuracy.
"These preliminary numbers will be refined and evaluated over the next several weeks and additional refinements will lead to more precise calculations. In the interest of openness and transparency, we wanted to share these data because they tell an important story about the accuracy of Census 2000."
An Executive Steering Committee for Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation Policy (ESCAP) composed of 12 Census Bureau career professionals will recommend by the end of February whether adjustment is technically feasible and would further improve the accuracy of the counts.
The estimates released today are based on preliminary tabulations from the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation conducted independently of Census 2000. The Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation surveyed 314,000 housing units across the country and was designed to measure how many people were missed in the census and how many were erroneously included or double-counted.
The preliminary estimates are based on early tabulations done for the ESCAP to assist in their analysis. The ESCAP is still evaluating data and is on schedule to release its recommendation at the end of the month. Additional information and findings will be available when its report is released.
Table 1: Preliminary Estimated Coverage of Census 2000 Based on the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.) Survey
|Estimation Grouping||Preliminary A.C.E. Estimates of Net Undercount (Percent)|
|Low Estimate||High Estimate|
Total population in Households. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
RACE AND HISPANIC OR LATINO
American Indian and Alaska Native (on reservation). . . . . . . . .
AGE AND SEX
Table 2: Estimated Coverage of the 1990 Census Based on the Post Enumeration Survey (PES)
|Estimation Grouping||PES Estimates of Net Undercount (Percent)|
Total Population 1/. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
RACE AND HISPANIC ORIGIN
White or Some Other Race (not Hispanic) 2/). . . . . . . . . .
1/ Includes household population and some Group Quarters; excludes institutions, military group quarters.
2/ Includes American Indians off reservations.
3/ Excludes Blacks or African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians on reservations.