The Census Bureau acknowledges the long-standing undercount of young children in decennial censuses and in Census Bureau surveys. Evaluations show that Census Bureau surveys like the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation also undercount young children, which can result in biased survey estimates. The differential undercount of this population across geography and demographics makes this a larger problem for some racial and ethnic groups and some parts of the country. However, this issue is not unique to the United States, as research has shown that many other countries have a high net undercount of young children in their censuses.
In response to this pervasive issue, the Census Bureau has spent years researching children who were missed in the 2010 Census and taken many steps to attempt to reduce this undercount in the 2020 Census. This research, along with other relevant materials, is presented here.
Researching the Attitudes of Households Reporting Young Children
This report documents the analysis of response data from households reporting young children in the Census Bureau's 2020 CBAMS.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Summary of Recent Research
In this report researchers summarize the recent Census Bureau research on the undercount of young children in the 2010 decennial census.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Net Census Coverage
In this report researchers compare census counts to counts of births from vital statistics by month.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Examining Coverage in Demo Surveys
In this report researchers analyze coverage rates by age, race, and Hispanic origin for the ACS, CPS, and SIPP.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Coverage Measurement Analyses
In this report researchers present further analyses of the 2010 Census Coverage Measurement data.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Analysis of Complex Households
In this report researchers use the complex household typology to analyze household structure and the undercount of young children in the 2010 Census.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Characteristics of Children by Age
This report compares the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of children by age group using data from the American Community Survey.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Analysis of Coverage Followup
This report documents the analysis of the geographic distribution of the 2010 Census Coverage Followup data using two segmentation methods.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Geographic Distribution of Results
This report documents research on the geographic distribution of the 2010 Census Coverage Followup results related to young children.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Child Undercount Probes
This report details research on households in the 2010 Census where the respondent responded affirmatively to the undercount probes about children.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Analysis of Coverage Measurement
This report details research on the characteristics of young children who were enumerated in the 2010 CCM but did not match to a Census record.
2010 Undercount of Young Children – Examining Coverage Followup
This report documents research on the young children who were added to the 2010 Census during the Coverage Followup operation.
2010 Undercount of Young Children - Comparing Characteristics by Age
This report details the demographic, housing, and household characteristics of children who were counted in the 2010 Census by age group.
2010 Undercount of Young Children - Omissions by Age
This report contains an estimation of 2010 Census omissions by age group.
U.S. Census Bureau "Working Papers" have not undergone the review and editorial process generally accorded official Census Bureau publications. These working papers are intended to make results of Census Bureau research available to others and to encourage discussion on a variety of topics.
The Use of Administrative Records and the American Community Survey...
This paper uses linked administrative and survey data to explore the characteristics of children under age five likely to be undercounted in the 2010 Census.