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.

Posts Tagged ‘Cincinnati’

Cincinnati defeats Census Bureau on address list appeal

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Thanks to Gregory Korte of Cincinnati.com for the following…We will soon look into other cities that have defeated the Census Bureau on appeal:

The U.S. Census Bureau began sending out 3,054 more questionnaires to addresses in Cincinnati this week, after the city won its appeal to get the Census Bureau to put back addresses it took off its list last year.

“That’s a huge victory,” said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, who claims the Census has historically undercounted Cincinnati and has made increasing the official count a top priority. “I’ve said for a while now that the effort to get the number right starts with that list of addresses that the census mails to.”

Cincinnati’s situation isn’t unusual. The city was one of about 2,600 local governments that filed address appeals with a special panel set up by the White House Office of Management and Budget – representing a total of 1.8 million addresses.

Of those, the panel determined that 91 percent should be added back to the Census Bureau’s master address file, said Philip N. Fulton, the director of the appeals staff.

The appeals board found that Cincinnati officials made a good case – using parcel maps and tax records – that the Census Bureau shouldn’t have removed the 3,054 of the more than 12,000 addresses it took out when it updated its list last year.

“Like in Cincinnati, we weren’t able to look at all 3,000 addresses individually,” Fulton said. “It’s a body-of-evidence sort of approach.”

So it’s hard to tell what effect the decision will have on Cincinnati’s count, Fulton said. It’s possible many of the addresses are vacant, or were already in the census file in a different format.

Many of the addresses that will get forms this week are near the neighborhoods of Over-the-Rhine, Clifton Heights, Corryville and North Fairmount. The Census Bureau had taken them out after conducting a street-by-street canvass of the city last year, saying either that it couldn’t find the address, that it wasn’t a residential unit or that it wasn’t within the city limits.

Cincinnati, Census Bureau disagree about addresses

Monday, January 11th, 2010

A bit of controversy is brewing in Cincinnati, as city officials are urging the Census Bureau to mail census forms to addresses that the Bureau claims do not exist. The Bureau removed thousands of Cincinnati addresses from its master address file — which should include every housing unit in the United States — but the city says some of those addresses are valid.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:

After canvassing every neighborhood and allowing local governments to give input, Cincinnati says the Census Bureau took out 12,534 addresses in the city – many of them without explanation. City officials believe at least 3,063 addresses are valid, and want them put back.

“The effort to get an accurate count begins with the address check, with that master list of addresses, making sure that the census has all the information that we as a city have about where people live,” said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, who heads a census task force for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

And according to the newspaper, Cincinnati is far from the only municipality to appeal the Census Bureau’s address list:

Cincinnati’s complaint is one of about 2,200 that have been sent to a special appeals panel – twice as many appeals as were filed a decade ago. Those appeals contain 1.7 million addresses.

The government hasn’t released a list of those appeals, but the Boone County Planning Commission also has appealed 1,458 addresses it says are missing: 337 in Florence, nine in Union and 1,112 in unincorporated Boone County.

Philip N. Fulton, the director of the Census Bureau’s appeals staff, said it’s impossible for his staff of 30 people to review each one of those addresses individually. Instead, his staff looks at whether the city has done a “logical, rigorous analysis.” If so, he said, Cincinnati will get the benefit of the doubt.

“(The appeal process) is an effort by Congress to give communities an opportunity to be heard, and it’s in their favor,” he said. “We go into this with the mentality that this local government has a case, otherwise they wouldn’t put so much work into it.”

Cincinnati’s complaint that addresses were removed without explanation is a common one.

“That’s happening all over the country,” Fulton said. “And that factor is leading to more appeals.”

It’s clear that getting a census form to all addresses is crucial for an accurate count. But wasting forms and time on invalid addresses is a poor use of Census Bureau resources. We’ll keep tabs on the outcomes of address file appeals, so let us know about any in your community.