October 1st, 2009
02:45 PM ET
12 years ago

'There'll be no adjustment of this Census,' agency director says

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.

Filed under: Census
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Some republican guy

    Don't let them fool you! The census is only done so that the socialist obamabots and the narcisstic union thugs (the enemies of humanity) know where to find you when it's your turn to face the death panel. I strongly urge all real God fearing Americans (conservatives) to boycott the census. Don't let them figure out where you live. That data goes into the central computer of the elitest libtards at ACORN headquarters and then there's no escape!!!!! Have a nice day!

    October 1, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Bob in Pa

    There shouldn't be any adjustments to Census numbers. It either is accurate or it isn't.

    October 1, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Chris - MN

    Here's a prediction. The fact that they will not be adjusting will be booed by the right because it will confirm in their minds that Obama wanted to do it. This booing will be only slightly less than the booing if they had decided to adjust.

    October 1, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Regressive Party Refugee (former republican)

    Yeah, but it won't stop the right wing conspiracy nutjobs from cooking up ridiculous paranoid stories about how the census has been/will be adulterated to disenfranchise them in some way or another.

    October 1, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. J.P.

    Ehhh... how about if census workers don't come to your residence, and you don't volutarily raise your hand to be counted, then you don't exist?

    How about if a census worker fails to put his finger on the end of your still-breathing nose, then you don't exist?

    October 1, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. NJ

    Well that's wierd. Rush Limbaugh told everybody Obama was going to adjust, and he even said ACORN was going to be in on it.

    October 1, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    The GOP can count to 1,000 when it's the number of pages in a bill and to 787B when it's the number of dollars in legislation involving spending (or to 30,000 when it's the number of dollars their insurance industry CEO buddy just spent on his new office toilet)...but somehow, I sense that they might have a little trouble getting into double digits when it comes to counting minorities.

    October 1, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Farrell in Houston

    Latinos in the past have been counted in the Census as "White" so to exaggerate the rapid growth of the Latino population at this time is a misjustice. Latinos, please standup and be counted as Latinos, not White and not Non=White, but Latino. You've earned that right.

    October 1, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. Polly Gresham

    Want to bet 'there will be no adjustment of the census'? You just must be a republican neanderthal to think that to be true....

    October 1, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. No habla engliss

    For sure the illegals do not need to be counted.

    October 1, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Kevin in Ohio

    If people want to be counted, they need to do their civic duty. No other way around it.... if they can't play by the rules, they don't get the benefits of living here. Period.

    October 1, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. don

    the majority who oppressed the minority for long and still has remnantsi.e. the gop and the tea baggersshould advise themselves about the dynamic demographics and start acting as such if they dont want to be treated same way they treated others in the past.respect is earned so i hope the majority is listerning.
    "different colours and cultures one people"

    October 1, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. phoenix86

    Don't worry, ACORN will make sure all undocumented workers are counted in the Census, no matter how many times they have to stand in line.

    October 1, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Bluebonnet

    Of course CNN won't post this but the Hispanics sneak across the border like rats, use up all the freebies over here and take our jobs. They don't deserve to be counted – the liberal dems just want to have more so they can open up another district for another tax cheating senator or congressman to suck up more freebies for them!

    October 1, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |