WASHINGTON (CNN)– As outreach efforts begin to ramp up for the 2010 Census, the head of the Census Bureau said Thursday that there are no plans to adjust the result of the upcoming national count to account for possible undercounting of Latinos or other groups.
"There'll be no adjustment of this census," Census Bureau Director Robert Groves told CNN in an interview, "It's not something you can just do. You have to prepare for it and we don't have tools to adjust, so we're not going to adjust this Census."
Asked again about the issue, Groves reiterated that "we're not producing adjusted numbers."
Groves participated in a press conference Thursday where a coalition of groups in the Latino community announced a national outreach campaign to encourage Hispanics to be a part of the 2010 Census.
At the event, the coalition asserted that Hispanics had been undercounted by "around 3 percent" in the 2000 count. But Groves told CNN that an updated estimate by his agency indicates a 0.7 percent undercount of Hispanics during last Census in 2000 - an amount the director said was not statistically significant.
Groves explained how the Census Bureau estimates an undercount:
"We do a very large sample survey after the Census and we match it to the Census and ask the question 'Did the Census find this person?, Did we find this person?' and so on. The initial figures from that in 2000 were close to this three percent figure for Hispanics. After we did the initial estimates in 2000, we discovered there was a little problem with our estimation of that. So we worked harder and we found that there were some duplicates that we didn't count right. And then we revised that three percent and the revision is point-seven instead of three so it's much smaller. It's so small that it's statistically insignificant – we don't know if it's point-seven or zero."
"You will hear, in these discussions, those two different numbers [3 percent and 0.7 percent]. They're both legitimate numbers," Groves added. "The Census Bureau and outside technical evaluation would prefer that second number."
"I think that 0.7 is closer to what really happened," Groves told CNN. "But, you know, the main message is: we need to count everyone."
There were 46.9 million Hispanics in the country as of July 1, 2008, according a Census Bureau estimate. Based on that estimate, Hispanics are the largest ethnic or race minority in the country and constitute 15 percent of the country's total population, according to the agency.
The results of the decennial national head count are used to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives, to assist in redrawing the contours of congressional districts, and to dole out roughly $400 billion in federal funds annually to states and localities using population-based formulas.