All Things Census
The nation’s Hispanic population rose to 50.5 million in the 2010 Census, and increased by 43% over the decade. A new analysis of 2010 Census data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, indicates that in nine states, the size of the Hispanic population more than doubled. They included the Southeastern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina, as well as Maryland and South Dakota.
The Pew Hispanic Center analysis includes state rankings and totals for population, share of population and percent growth over the decade, both for all Hispanics and for children under age 18.
The Census Bureau has just released 2010 Census population figures for race groups and Hispanics, culminating state-by-state releases that began last month. Later today, the Pew Hispanic Center will release a short analysis of trends in growth and dispersion of the nation’s Latino population.
A Pew Hispanic Center analysis released today examines differences between Census 2010 counts of Hispanics and the Census Bureau’s population estimates of Hispanics in the 33 states for which detailed statistics have been released so far.
It finds that in 23 of those states, the census counts of Hispanics were at least 2% higher than expected. In three states, the totals were at least 2% under what had been expected from the population estimates. In seven states, the differences one way or the other was less than 2%.
New Zealand has canceled its planned 2011 census because of the major earthquake on the nation’s South Island on Feb. 22. The census, which is taken every five years, had been scheduled for March 8. Residents had the option of filling out forms online or on paper.
In canceling the census, government officials said it would be an unfair burden and a distraction to ask people to fill out census forms while they are dealing with the aftermath of the quake. They also cited damage to Statistics New Zealand offices with “extensive impact on census staff.”
The nation’s chief statistician, Geoff Bascand, said he and his staff would “investigate the feasibility of alternative options.” According to news accounts, Bascand said the nation’s Statistics Act must be amended in order for the census to be canceled because the law requires a census to be taken every five years.
As the Census Bureau rolls out the 2010 population counts for Hispanics by state, a new 2010 Census data portal has been launched on the Pew Hispanic Center website. It includes 2010 and 2000 counts of the total population, non-Hispanic population and Hispanic population, as well as the Hispanic share of the population, for states and counties. Numeric and percentage change in the total and Hispanic populations also are included. The data can be downloaded in Excel format.
The Census Bureau began releasing detailed race and Hispanic totals state-by-state this month, and is scheduled to complete the process by April 1. As each state becomes available, data for that state and its counties will be posted on the Pew Hispanic Center website.
People who turn to the Census Bureau’s latest data release in an effort to answer Sesame Street’s musical query may, in some cases, be puzzled by what they find. The detailed race, ethnicity and population counts make it easy to look up data for any block in America. But those numbers may not be completely accurate—and deliberately so.
A census block is the smallest unit of geography for which data are published, and blocks are the basis for assembling larger geographic entities such as legislative districts. Nationally, there are more than 11 million of them, housing on average 100 people. According to a Census Bureau description, blocks normally are bounded by streets, other prominent physical features or the boundaries of geographic areas. They may be as small as a city block or as sprawling as a 100-square-mile rural area.
The 2010 Census data being released on a state-by-state basis this month and next month, which will be used as the basis for redistricting, include counts down to the block level. Data for each block include counts not just of people in the six basic race groups, but also of people who checked any one of the dozens of multi-race combinations. The data also include counts for Hispanics and non-Hispanics in these dozens of race groups.
But what if there are only one or two people on a block who are in a different race or ethnic category from that of the other residents? In such a case, publication of this level of detail about every block in America runs the risk that a person or household could be identified individually, conflicting with the Census Bureau’s legal obligation to protect the privacy of respondents. Read more
The Government Accountability Office, which had included the 2010 Census on its list of high-risk activities, updated that list this month and stated: “The Bureau generally completed its data collection activities consistent with its plans and released the data used to apportion Congress on December 21, 2010, several days ahead of the legally required end-of-year deadline.” Remaining activities “appear to be on track,” the agency said. Therefore, GAO stated, the 2010 Census is being removed from the high-risk list.
A new report from the Congressional Research Service, “The 2010 Decennial Census: Background and Issues,” reviews the purpose and methodology of the count and describes its field operations and problems. The report also describes ongoing or completed assessments of the census by the bureau and by other government entities.
The inspector general in the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, recently released its quarterly report to Congress on the 2010 Census, as well as a report on contracting practices.
The Pew Hispanic Center has updated its statistical profile of U.S. Hispanics, using data from the 2009 American Community Survey. The profile includes 40 tables on a variety of topics from living arrangements to income to citizenship. Also updated, using the 2009 American Community Survey, was the center’s profile of the U.S. foreign-born population, also consisting of 40 tables with details on characteristics of this population.
These updated profiles complement previously published state and county data for Hispanics from the 2008 American Community Survey.
India’s 2011 national census, which goes into the field this week, includes not just the usual two gender categories, but for the first time a third one, called “other.” The national census in Nepal, to be conducted in May, also will include three gender options, prompted by a ruling by that nation’s highest court ordering greater protections for the rights of transgender, gay and lesbian and bisexual people.
As this posting from the Population Reference Bureau explains, the “third sex” is not a recent concept in many parts of the world, although the change on the census form has generated many stories in the Indian press.
The U.S. census form, as shown here, offers the standard two options, male and female.
The Census Bureau began a gigantic release of 2010 Census data today, publishing detailed race, Hispanic and population totals down to the block level for Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia. The bureau will release data for the remaining states (and District of Columbia) over the next two months, with the final state numbers due out before April 1.
The legal purpose of this data is that it will be used as the basis for redrawing the boundaries of political districts within states, from congressional districts to local government boards. But the numbers also will have a fascinating story to tell about racial change, dispersion of the Hispanic population nationwide, population growth or decline and other themes.
A few of the earliest news stories include: Hispanics largest minority in New Jersey in the Star-Ledger; Asian and Hispanic populations skyrocket in Virginia in The Washington Post; New Orleans population drops since 2000 in the Times-Picayune; and Mississippi coast population loss not as great as feared in the Biloxi Sun Herald.