My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Why are the mentally ill who live in group quarters participating in the standard 2010 Census enumeration rather than being enumerated during the Group Quarters Enumeration operation?

The master address file at the Census Bureau should have identified the following locale as “Group Quarters.” Is this identification error happening at other facilities for the mentally ill around the country as well? Will this lead to many individuals being double-counted?  Check out this brief from Channel3000.com:

MADISON, Wis. — In many mailboxes around the country, the 2010 U.S. Census forms have arrived. The forms are being mailed to every household in the nation.Although the census is vitally important for many reasons, some folks are afraid to be counted. Burgess Brown helps run Safe Haven, a facility that gives people in Madison with mental illnesses a temporary place to stay.He said the relationships that his staff have developed with the guests is key to getting patients feeling comfortable about being counted.”A lot of people have diagnoses that make them skeptical of answering certain questions,” said Brown. “A lot of them will need to be coached through and reassured that what they are filling out is not someone prying into their personal past or history.”

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4 Responses to “Why are the mentally ill who live in group quarters participating in the standard 2010 Census enumeration rather than being enumerated during the Group Quarters Enumeration operation?”

  1. Bob Aganoosh Says:

    If it’s true, they’re lucky. It means they get to decide for themselves where they are counted. Mental patients, like many other “group quarter” residents, are counted in their hospital whether they are voluntarily committed or not, whether they plan or are expected to stay there or not. http://diigo.com/0a356

  2. Avi Says:

    Where in the article does it say that Safe Haven isn’t being enumerated in GQE?

  3. Suitlandman Says:

    Identification of Group Quarters addresses is a weakness of the Master Address File.

  4. Rhonda Says:

    1. The staff could’ve have been trained and sworn in to enumerate their people.
    2. If the address was classified as ‘living quarters’ it cannot be changed to group quarters because of duplicating concerns. The LCO will do their best to assist, but the classification cannot be changed (rules that came out of issue in the 2000 Census.)
    3. No such thing as ‘perfect;’ you must deal with what you have. That’s how we are charged with getting the work done. We don’t have the time to beat the dead horses, we have get it done. Sure the guys on top may have screwed up, but the count can;t stop because of it.

    Must go train GQ enumerators – busy.