A nice piece from Nevada:
Fact checker: Census value rounded up — way up
By Kelly Scott
Last week, a news release from Nevada Census 2010 claimed that “for every resident counted, Nevada stands to receive nearly $10,000 each year of our fair share of federal funding during the next decade.”
Being that Thursday was the once-in-a-decade census day, I decided to see how that number actually breaks down.
Reno Gazette-Journal articles have reported that the state gets “more than $900 a year per person in federal tax dollars” each year for the next decade based on census answers.
The census is used to calculate the numbers for a great deal of federal funding and other things. Among the types of programs based on census results are the Washoe County School District’s free lunch program, transportation funding and money to help senior citizens. Census numbers are used to divvy up seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Analysis of the numbers
My first thought was that there was a rounding error in the numbers. Maybe the news release just rounded up?
Well, here’s how it breaks down according to our data guru Mark Robison:
Nevada gets $917 a year per person in federal funds because of census data. That adds up to $9,170 per person over 10 years, not $10,000 over a single year. Robison said he thinks the official state news release we received was likely an honest mistake because other promotional materials have used $10,000 per decade as the amount of additional funding the state stands to receive per person. But that still rounds up $9,170 to $10,000, when customary rounding would normally lower the figure to $9,000.
To find the source of the funds-per-resident claim, Robison dug into a SAGE Commission report sent to Gov. Jim Gibbons last year that urged the state to actually spend money on trying to get people to participate in the census because the state stood to gain more than what it likely would spend.
Here’s an excerpt from the report: “According to the Census Bureau, over $3 trillion in funding is allocated nationwide based on census figures. In 2000, the Legislative Counsel Bureau estimated that the state lost $670 per person per year for every Nevadan missed by the 2000 Census. Recently, the Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada State Data Center, and Nevada State Demographer came together to update that figure for 2010. Due to the combined effects of inflation and expanded federal investment returning to Nevada, their collective estimate is that Nevada will now lose $917 per person per year for every Nevadan missed in the 2010 Census.”
For the rest of the article click HERE.
Posts Tagged ‘estimates’
The Census Bureau estimates that the U.S. population on Jan. 1 will be 308,400,408, according to figures released this morning.
That total marks the Bureau’s prediction three months before data is due for the 2010 Census.
The Jan. 1, 2010, projection represents a 0.9-percent increase from New Year’s Day 2009, or an increase of 2,606,181 people.
The Census Bureau released new state population estimates today, the last set of such data to be published before the 2010 Census.
The new estimates give a preview of which states might gain — or lose — U.S. House seats and funding as a result of next year’s count. The data is also the first population estimate that fully account for the economic recession.
The winners from this year’s estimates:
- Texas: Texas gained more people than any other state (478,000) between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, the period covered by the data set.
- California: The nation’s most populous state with 37 million people, California was second to Texas in the number of people gained — 381,000.
- Wyoming: Wyoming showed the largest population growth of any state, with a 2.12 percent rise in population in the one-year period.
And the losers:
- Michigan, Maine and Rhode Island: These were the only three states to show a loss in population for the year. Michigan’s loss was -0.33 percent, Maine’s -0.11 percent and Rhode Island’s -0.03 percent.
- Florida and Nevada: These states were hit especially hard by the recession. They saw big upticks in population during the early 2000s, but this year experienced a net outflow of residents, meaning more people left the state than moved to it. However, due to births, both states still had an overall population increase.
Overall, the estimates show that fewer people are moving (“domestic migration,” in Bureau speak) — especially to states in the south and west — likely as a result of the poor economy.
USA Today has a fascinating interactive map and chart that compare the new estimates to data from 2000, offering an early look at the changes in congressional representation next year’s Census could bring.
According to their data, states poised to gain House seats include Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Washington, Utah, Arizona, Florida and South Carolina. States likely to lose seats are Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Louisiana.
A round-up of coverage of the new estimates:
Census Bureau press release: Texas Gains the Most in Population
USA Today: Census reports slow growth in states
New York Times: Recession Cuts Migration to Sun Belt, New Figures Show
Bloomberg: Texas Gains Most People in 2008-09, U.S. Census Says
Washington Post: Census: Weak economy caused dramatic slowdown in magnet states
The Census Bureau doesn’t always get their estimates right, and they permit cities and towns to refute the numbers by providing evidence that the Census Bureau’s count was wrong. Here are this year’s revised population estimates after all the challenges have come in:
|Accepted Challenges to 2008 Population Estimates|
|Bella Vista town||AR||09/30/2009||16,388||25,449|
|San Diego city||CA||11/10/2009||1,279,329||1,305,754|
|Colorado Springs city||CO||11/24/2009||380,307||397,317|
|Lauderdale Lakes city||FL||10/30/2009||31,004||32,119|
|North Miami Beach city||FL||11/02/2009||37,997||41,247|
|Oak Park village||IL||11/10/2009||49,557||53,187|
|Great Bend city||KS||10/05/2009||15,564||15,638|
|Lexington-Fayette Urban County||KY||10/30/2009||282,114||292,240|
|North Reading town||MA||11/10/2009||17,272||14,444|
|Kansas City city||MO||11/02/2009||451,572||480,129|
|St. Louis city||MO||10/30/2009||354,361||356,730|
|West Milgrove village||OH||07/17/2009||77||166|
|Newport News city||VA||11/10/2009||179,614||193,212|
Good news, Philadelphia!
After decades of population loss, the city has stopped shrinking, according to revised Census Bureau estimates delivered to the city earlier this week.
On Monday, the city received a letter from the Census Bureau raising the 2008 population estimate by about 93,000.
In October, Philly challenged the bureau’s 2008 estimate of the city’s population, which the bureau had set at 1,447,395. It was the first time that the city had challenged the bureau’s estimates since a challenge program began earlier this decade.
The new estimate of Philadelphia’s ’08 population is 1,540,351 people, 4,220 higher than what even the city had believed. The difference came from the bureau’s having more accurate counts of those living in prisons, nursing homes and college dorms, said Gary Jastrzab, the city’s deputy director of city planning.
The city’s population peaked at more than two million people in 1950, then began a 50-year decline.
“For the first time in nearly 60 years, we can demonstrate that Philadelphia’s population is growing, not declining,” Mayor Nutter said.
He said that the new estimates highlighted the importance of the 2010 Census, which will have legislative and fiscal ramifications for the city.
“City, state, and federal [representation] are all affected by the census figures because of required redistricting,” he said.
The city would get more funding from the federal government if it could prove it was growing, Nutter said.
I apologize for taking so long to post the second half of the series that I started nearly two weeks ago, but I’ve been traveling extensively and things were getting quite hectic. Without further ado, I present to you an inside look into my meeting with top communications/public relations/press officials at the Census Bureau’s HQ in Washington, DC:
After making idle chit-chat about Europe, climate change, and Dr. Groves’ travel habits (like any good reporter, I try to extract information wherever possible) for more than half an hour with two private security guards inside their security booth on the perimeter of the Census Bureau’s fenced off headquarters (they refused to let me sit on a bench outside even though it was a warm day…), I was greeted by Derick Moore (who Steve Jost authorizes to make the official Census Bureau comments on MyTwoCensus posts) and Eun Kim, a new Census Bureau PR official who until very recently was a DC reporter for Gannett (hmmm…I wonder why she jumped over to the dark side…).
After clearing a round of metal detectors, I made my way up the elevator with my two aforementioned handlers. I was led to a waiting room where I made some chit chat with Derick and Eun who each told me about their careers in private sector media. (I pray every day that the allure of a solid government salary with good benefits doesn’t one day catch up with me too…) Steve Jost, chowing down on a sandwich and french fries, returned and had us follow him into his office. We all sat down, with me at the head of the table. With white hair and a bit of scruff on his face, Jost wasn’t the devilish and egotistical Nazi I expected he might be, but rather a jovial guy who immediately poked fun at my comments about him on this site. I replied that I made those comments when I was thousands of miles away in the safety of my own home, and I had never expected to be sitting down with him in person. But I had no regrets. My job is to be a watchdog, and a vigilant watchdog I will be.
Last to arrive at our meeting was Stephen Buckner, the mouthpiece of the 2010 Census (spokesman) who had the boyish charm of a high school quarterback. I’m sure that fifteen years ago he easily cruised his way to a victory during elections for homecoming king.
Jost was the leader of this round-table, so between french fries he started firing off all of the positive accomplishments that he and his team have made, while clearly avoiding any of the shortcomings. Here’s a rundown of the most interesting things that he said:
1. High unemployment rates and homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure will cause problems with the 2010 Census.
2. The hardest group to count is “young, unattached people” who move frequently, only have cell phones, are between jobs or studies, etc. — NOT immigrants or minorities, as one might expect from all of the Census Bureau’s hard-to-count group advertising…(MyTwoCensus will investigate this further in the near future!)
3. The Census Bureau has created a series of ads using pop music…get ready to find these on your TV screens starting in early January.
4. The participation rate in the Census increased for the first time since 1970 in 2000, despite general trends that fewer and fewer people are involved in civic activities like voting, performing jury duty, etc. Hopefully they can once again reverse this trend in 2010.
5. 95% of media consumers will be reached multiple times by 2010 Census advertising campaigns.
6. 53% of 2010 Census advertising is local. 47% is national. (Note: MyTwoCensus has not heard back yet as to whether our proposal to let the Census Bureau advertise for the 2010 Census on this site was accepted…)
7. Spoiler Alert: Sesame Street will be featuring a 2010 Census storyline via The Count and Rosita characters.
8. 2010.Census.gov was redesigned.
9. Though 173 forms of social media have been integrated with Census Bureau awareness efforts, no I-Phone Application has been created for the 2010 Census.
10. The 2010 Census forms will be mailed to all households in America (hopefully) on March 17, 2010. (Let’s hope drunken St. Patty’s day revelers don’t interfere with the efforts of the U.S. Postal Service…)
11. When selecting advertisements for the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau asks the creative directors of 12 different advertising firms to submit proposals via a “creative rumble.”
12. Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of the 2000 Advance Letter Debacle in 2010…
13. There will be extra Census Bureau staff in New Orleans to personally hand deliver 2010 Census questionnaires to every household.
14. The address canvassing portion of the 2010 Census provided data that there are approximately 134 million individual housing units in the US, down from original estimates of 140 million.
15. Many addresses in places like Las Vegas where construction on homes was started but never finished have been deleted from the 2010 Census rolls.
16. Very, very, very few people hired to work for the Census Bureau as temporary workers have quit during the 2009-2010 cycle, as other jobs are extremely scarce.
17. On November 17 at 9:30am, Dr. Robert M. Groves will be holding his next monthly “State of the 2010 Census” address…
I was given some handouts (drawings of a 2010 Census logo on a NASCAR racecar that will be unveiled soon), portions of powerpoints (that showed me data about levels of Census participation), and had the opportunity to see one of the hip-hop music based commercials that was recently shot in LA and will soon be airing nationwide. It was a smooth operation, and my questions were answered well. Were the answers necessarily honest? No. But did the PR team effectively do their jobs to give give off the image of squeaky clean 2010 Census communications operations? Absolutely.