March 29, 2001
For Immediate Release
Contacts: John Chambers
Response Regarding the Release of State Undercount Data
Washington D.C. -- Acting Census Bureau Director William G. Barron issued a statement yesterday regarding the release of state undercount data by the Presidential Members of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board. The following is Presidential Co-Chair Gilbert F. Casellas' response:
"We released the state undercount figures with full confidence in our researcher, Dr. Eugene P. Ericksen, a decennial census expert and professor of statistics at Temple University, but also with the understanding that we don't have access to all the information."
"We welcome the criticism from Mr. Barron when he speaks of our 'flawed numbers and methodology' because we encourage scientific scrutiny. But we hope that he will tell us how the numbers are flawed and what the correct numbers are. If they have more accurate numbers, why don't they release them?"
"The sooner the scientific community has access to the data, the sooner we can help to resolve the 'uncertainties' the Bureau has described."
At yesterday's Senate Commerce Committee hearing, bipartisan census experts agreed (including Dr. Kenneth Wachter, Dr. Eugene P. Ericksen and Dr. David Murray) that the Bureau should release the block-level adjusted census data for research purposes.
At yesterday's hearing Senator John F. Kerry said, "There is a sense of urgency to release this data. Before it's too late, we need people -- independent researchers and scientists -- examining the data to find out if there's a problem with it and to look for solutions. The distribution of $185 billion is too important to risk not having enough time to complete a sound analysis."
Established in 1997, the Census Monitoring Board is a bipartisan board that monitors the Census Bureau's conduct of the 2000 census. Its findings are reported every six months to Congress. For more information on the Board, visit http://www.cmbp.gov.