All Things Census


Electoral Participation in the 2008 Presidential Election

The Census Bureau today released a report summarizing levels of voting and voter registration in the November 2008 presidential election. Based on the November 2008 Current Population Survey Voting and Registration supplement, the Census Bureau reports that over 131 million people cast a vote in 2008, up from 126 million in 2004.

The 2008 electorate was the most diverse in U.S. history, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of the same data. Nearly one-in-four voters was non-white in 2008, up from about one-in-five in 2004.


How Many Undocumented Immigrants?

The Census Bureau does not ask U.S. residents for their immigration status when they are counted in the 2010 Census or other population surveys. A major reason is that bureau officials fear it would make people reluctant to respond, despite the promise that their information is confidential.

So when numbers are cited for the size or characteristics of the undocumented immigrant population, they are estimates that are arrived at indirectly. The Wall Street Journal recently published an interesting article and a blog posting explaining the ins and outs of these estimates. Among the estimates discussed are those produced by the Pew Hispanic Center, including a 2009 report that featured estimates for states.


Analysis of Low-Responding Census Tracts

A snapshot of the lowest-responding neighborhoods in the 2010 Census shows that more than two-thirds are in cities, and they tend to be more racially or ethnically diverse than higher-responding areas. The analysis, by the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is based on mail participation rate data for census tracts released by the Census Bureau last week. (A summary of the analysis also is available.)

The analysis includes a look at the 9,546 census tracts (14% of the total) that had a mail participation rate of less than 60%. Census-takers are in the field now to seek responses from households from which forms were not received.

The analysis also looks at the impact of replacement questionnaire mailing to low-responding areas, and concludes that the second questionnaires had a “strong impact” in boosting the mail participation rate top 72%, which equals the response in the 2000 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.