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Lucia Elias-Oiivares and Marcia Farr

Executive Summary

The objective of this study was to explore the reasons for a potential undercount among Mexican-origin individuals due to a failure to answer or understand questions on U.S. Census forms. Sociolinguistic and ethnographic methodology were used to interview and observe 39 people, of which 29 were heads of household, while they responded to the census forms. The 39 respondents were from one selected city block in the Pilsen community area of Chicago (one of the two highest concentrations of Mexican-origin people in Chicago: the contiguous neighborhood of Little Village is the other highest concentration).

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