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The Use of Administrative Records and the American Community Survey to Study the Characteristics of Undercounted Young Children in the 2010 Census

Leticia Fernandez, Rachel Shattuck, James Noon


Children under age five are historically one of the most difficult segments of the population to enumerate in the U.S. decennial census. The persistent undercount of young children is highest among Hispanics and racial minorities. In this study, we link 2010 Census data to administrative records from government and third party data sources, such as Medicaid enrollment data and tenant rental assistance program records from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to identify differences between children reported and not reported in the 2010 Census. In addition, we link children in administrative records to the American Community Survey to identify various characteristics of households with children under age five who may have been missed in the last census. This research contributes to what is known about the demographic, socioeconomic, and household characteristics of young children undercounted by the census. Our research also informs the potential benefits of using administrative records and surveys to supplement the U.S. Census Bureau child population enumeration efforts in future decennial censuses.


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