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.

AOL News: 2010 Census reveals possible undercount

MyTwoCensus thanks the astute reader who noticed this article (published 4 days ago) about a 2010 Census undercount (written by Andrea Stone, AOL’s Senior Washington Correspondent) that was then mysteriously removed from the internet by AOL. We’re not sure if this was because of an inaccuracy or some other reason. Nonetheless, here is a saved PDF file that shows the article. What do you think?

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7 Responses to “AOL News: 2010 Census reveals possible undercount”

  1. anon Says:

    Well my first thought is why didn’t you contact the author or the editor to find out why the story was pulled?

    My second thought was why don’t you go back to the briefing transcript to find out what that number represents and why it might not be the thing to report on right now. For instance, the reliance on proxy data went down substantially…that is a good thing and that is probably why you aren’t “reporting” on it.

    My third thought is why aren’t you focused on defense, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending:

    Areas rich with wasteful spending (spending annually)
    |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Defense ($895 Billion)
    |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Social Security (730B)
    |||||||||||||||||||||||| Medicare (491B)
    |||||||||||||| Medicaid (297B)
    |||||||||||| Interest on the national debt (251B)

    The cost of the Census (spending every 10 years)
    | <— 2010 Census (less than 15B)

  2. P for Pres Says:

    It’s Obama’s fault.

  3. Solong Census Says:

    anon, I think we all would like to know why the article was pulled. Also, don’t believe everything Dr. Groves says. His job (or his writers’ job) is to spin the information and data in a way that will make the Census Bureau look good. That is why he is paid the big bucks. So, going back to the transcripts is as worthwhile as their credibilty. I, for one, know their ability to “twist” and obscure the truth. Also, this blog is not about the Defense Dept., SSA, the national debt, etc. It is about the 2010 Census. If you have concerns regarding the spending in these other areas, contact your Congressional Representative or Senator. Duhh.Or, call Obama as P for President suggests, it is his fault. I for one think, it is the Census Bureau’s and their irresponsible management’s fault.

  4. NJCensus Says:

    Nationally only 3.8% of the info was from proxies? In the area where I worked…Northern New Jersey… the numbers seem to be a bit higher. The mail return rate for this area was about 72%, which means that mail returns were not received from 28 out ever every 100 addresses. It’s my estimate that at least 25% of the NARFU’s my crew worked on were ultimately completed by proxy, since we had tremendous difficulty with apartments, condos, co-ops, etc. In many cases we were locked out by building management. Quite a few respondents were soft refusals — wouldn’t answer the door…even though I knew there was someone inside, pretending not to understand English or feigning ignorance. People who I knew were lying — “I don’t live here. I just moved in. This is my summer house.” I also got a number of hard refusals, “Get the f*** off my property.” In the majority of these cases, the neighbors were just as uncooperative. In many instances I was forced to look up property ownership records at the local tax assessors office or county court house to find the address of the landlords because that was my last hope of getting any information at all. To sum up, 72% mail-in. Of the the 28% that were NARFU, 25% were by proxy — mostly management or landlords. .25 X 28 = 7 So out of every one hundred forms mailed out, 72 were mailed back. Of the 28 NARFUs, 21 were completed by interviewing someone at the address in question. That leaves 7 done by proxy. That works out to 7% of the population counted by proxy in this area. Maybe this place is an anomaly, and the people in the rest of the country are more cooperative? Or maybe a lot of the Census people in the field in the rest of the country were engaging in creative enumerating? Or maybe the Census people in Washington are writing a work of fiction? I’d like to know the answer.

  5. Patrick Says:

    @ NJCensus:

    I agree. When we were among the first in our RCC to close out, we had to write reports and initially got called into teleconferences with the Area Manager, who demanded to know about any anomolies that appeared in the statistics for each enumerator working under me. Some had as much as 40% by proxy, with only a few around %15. I’d say the average was 25%. Many other crew leaders in our FOSD had similar numbers.

    Interestingly, the “expected” number for proxies was something like 10%, maybe 15%. Anything above that (say 25%), and we had to explain why it was higher than expected (read: higher than they would have liked), even if every other enumerator had similar levels.

    So it sounds like they figured out what percentage of proxies was acceptable before they even started this gig… and magically, even if crew leaders say their percentage of proxies was double that… the number reported to the public somehow turns out just about right. Funny thing, that.

  6. anon Says:

    Solong – I understand whom SRM is blaming. I just want to know why. Did he fail stats 101 in college?

  7. MyTwoCensusIsDumb Says:

    It was pulled because the author misunderstood the rate being given. It was actually a nonresponse rate or something like that; she thought it meant “undercount” rate. Conspiracy theories exist for everything these days, don’t they?