All Things Census


Latino Population by County

Updated maps of the U.S. Hispanic population by county are available on the Pew Hispanic Center website. They show population numbers, shares and growth for 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2008, using population estimates and Decennial Census data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  The county data for 1990, 2000 and 2008 also can be downloaded.


Census Response: Role of Replacement Questionnaires

The 2010 Census mail participation rate of 72% has matched the 2000 Census rate, and Census Bureau officials have released data indicating that sending replacement questionnaires to low-responding areas may have played a role. Census officials also credit aggressive outreach and advertising for boosting mail response.

According to the third page of this handout from yesterday’s news briefing, households in areas that received a single mailing returned their questionnaires at a slightly lower rate than in 2000. Areas that received replacement questionnaires, either in a targeted or blanket mailing, had mail participation rates slightly higher than in 2000. Replacement questionnaires were not sent out in the 2000 Census.

Census-takers begin knocking on doors this weekend to obtain information from households for which a questionnaire was not received.


2010 Census Participation Rate: 72%

It’s official: The 2010 Census mail participation rate has matched the 2000 rate, according to the Census Bureau.


U.S. Hispanics by Country of Origin

The Pew Hispanic Center has released 10 statistical profiles of U.S. Hispanics by their country of origin, based on self-described family ancestry or place of birth in response to questions on the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Each statistical profile describes the demographic, employment and income characteristics of a Hispanic country-of-origin population residing in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The country-of-origin groups include Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican, Guatemalan, Colombian, Honduran, Ecuadorian and Peruvian.


Nine Top Neighborhoods for 2010 Census Participation

A new analysis of 2010 Census participation rates finds that 22% of counties have exceeded their Census 2000 participation rates by at least five percentage points. As of April 20, so had two states–North Carolina and South Carolina.

The analysis by the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York also found that nine census tracts nationwide had 100% mail participation rates. That means all households that received census forms in those tracts (each of which have about 4,000 residents) mailed them back. Nationally as of April 20, 71% of households turned in their forms.


2010 Census Participation Rate: 71%


Could Low Trust in Government Hurt the 2010 Census?

Only 22% of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington almost always or most of the time, among the lowest measures in half a century,  according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Could this pose problems for the Census Bureau as it tries to persuade Americans to participate in the 2010 Census?

The latest national mail participation rate, released April 16, is 69%. In 2000, 72% of households mailed back the census forms they received.


High Achieving Areas in the 2010 Census

At least 10% of the nation’s counties have exceeded their 2000 Census mail participation rates by at least five percentage points, according to a new analysis of 2010 Census response by the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York Graduate Center. The analysis is based on Census Bureau participation rate data as of April 13.

The analysis also turned up the intriguing pattern that in the nation’s largest cities, the neighborhoods that have surpassed their 2000 participation rates also tend to have high “hard-to-count” scores, meaning that they had housing, demographic and socioeconomic variables correlated with poor response in the 2000 Census. The analysis suggested that this finding could reflect the intensive outreach and advertising campaigns aimed at these areas, or it could reflect their changing demographic characteristics.

Earlier this week, the Census Bureau noted that four states had surpassed their 2000 participation rates. Bureau officials have set a deadline of April 16 for households to mail back their forms in order not to be put on the list for a follow-up visit from a census-taker.


Tea Party Supporters: No 2010 Census Boycott

A New York Times/CBS poll of Tea Party supporters finds that this group “actually are just as likely as Americans as a whole to have returned their census forms, though some conservative leaders have urged a boycott.”  The survey results show that 97% say they will return their 2010 Census forms or already have; among the total population, 95% say so.

The national survey, conducted April 5-12, included a total sample of 1,580, of whom 881 were Tea Party supporters. According to the survey, 18% of Americans identify themselves as Tea Party supporters.


Prisoners and the 2010 Census: New Developments

Maryland has become the first state in the nation to make plans to count prisoners at their last known home addresses, not their prison addresses, for purposes of redrawing federal, state and local legislative districts.

Traditionally, when legislative and congressional districts are redrawn using census data, prisoners are included where they are incarcerated. But some state officials say that gives outsize power to rural areas where many prisons are located, at the expense of urban areas that often are prisoners’ homes.

The Census Bureau announced in February that it would release detailed numbers earlier than usual to give more power to states to use 2010 Census data to exclude prisoners from being counted at their prison locations for redistricting purposes. On Tuesday, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) signed legislation to count prisoners at their last known home address if they are held in state or federal prisons and were state residents before they were incarcerated.

Realistically, according to this Washington Post story, the law will have the most impact on local and state legislative boundaries because congressional districts are too large to be affected. Baltimore is expected to benefit the most from the change, but Western Maryland is expected to lose clout. Many legislators from rural areas opposed the bill.

The bill was praised in a New York Times editorial and by Prisoners of the Census, a blog run by the Prison Policy Initiative, an organization that has advocated for changing the way prisoners are counted using census data.