CMBP News Headlines
CMBP News Release

For Immediate Release: January 27, 1999


Washington, D.C. Gil Casellas, Presidential Member of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board and former Chair of the Equal Opportunity and Employment Commission, responded today to comments made before a panel on preparations for the 2000 Census at the U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual meeting.

"The 2000 Census is just around the comer and it is vital for leaders like yourselves to look at ways that your cities can participate in Census preparations so that we don't make the same mistakes we made the last time around. In 1990, 8.4 million people were missed, mostly poor and minorities; 4.4 million people were counted twice; and 13 million were counted in the wrong place."

"Today, many of you heard about about two programs that would involve the participation of cities like the ones your represent to arrive at a more accurate count Post Census Local Review andLocal Update of Census Addresses (LUCA). One hasn't worked in the past and won't work for the 2000 Census. The other option, which is already in place, is expected to work much better."

"Post Census Local Review is an example of an idea whose time has passed. In 1990, it allowed local governments to look at population counts after they were collected. In theory it sounded great. If local governments believed there were errors in the numbers the Census Bureau produced, they could contest the numbers. Local governments could go directly to the Bureau or it to resolve the issues."

"However, while local participation and input sounded great, it didn't work out that well for 1990 and it does not promise any better results for 2000. In 1990, Post Census Local Review was not cost effective and it did not add a significant number to the count. In fact, out of total of 168,255 census blocks that were canvassed, only 124,900 people were added to the count less than 1/10 of 1% of the total. Furthermore, only 25% of local governments participated in PCLR in 1990."

"If it were repeated in 2000, Post Census Local Review would have the same problems: high costs, no guarantees for a good return and it would add time about 6 weeks to the Census Bureau's already tight schedule in delivering redistricting numbers to states. And that affects you and the federal money coming to your cities."

"This time around the Bureau has proposed working with local governments in a new way at the front end of the process instead of the back end. The Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) programs has far more potential to improve the census and build solid partnerships with local governments."

"To date, 45% of local governments have signed up to participate. That is almost twice as much participation than Post Census Local Review had in 1990. In cities such as Detroit, LUCA has already added some 17,000 addresses to the Master Address File of the Census Bureau."

"LUCA relies on local governments for more specific information than Post Census Local Review ever did. In 1990, the Post Census Local Review program only allowed local governments to compare census NUMBERS with their own population numbers. LUCA allows cities like yours to take your address lists, not just a count, and compare them with those of the Census Bureau. This is a marked improvement from 1990."

"By starting at the beginning, and having localities share with the Census Bureau where addresses may be missed or incorrectly noted, the Bureau's Master Address File will be more accurate and problems can be solved before we arrive at numbers that will be distributed publicly."

"Given Monday's Supreme Court decision, the Bureau will be looking for more ways for local governments to participate. This is your chance to get involved, but Post Census Local Review is not the answer."

FACTS AND FICTION ABOUT LOCAL REVIEW Fiction: Post Census Local Review was discontinued for 2000 because it conflicts with the Administration's plan to adjust the final numbers using population polling.

Fact: The Census Bureau abandoned the procedure for 2000 because the results of the 1990 Census showed using the procedure is not cost/effective. The procedure added over $9.6 million to the cost of the 1990 Census. But resulted in only 124,900 people being added. The Bureau's quality control checks found that about 12 percent of these people were added erroneously.

Fiction: Post Census Local Review added nearly 500,000 people to the 1990 Census.

The Facts: Only 124,900 people were added as a result of this procedure. Almost 46 percent of the people added lived in two cities Detroit and Cleveland. This time around cities such as Detroit are participating in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program.

Fiction: The procedure has merit because over 39,000 local governments were offered the chance to check the census numbers in 1990 before they were final.

The Facts: Only 9,847 (25 percent) of the 39,000 governments participated. Of these only 6,600 challenged census housing counts. Fiction: The Census Bureau's decision to not include a post-census review will hurt public confidence.

The Facts: That could not be further from the truth! In 1994 the Congress took action to assure that the public's confidence would be protected in the 2000 Census. In that year the bipartisan Census Address List Improvement Act of 1994 (PL 103430) was enacted. The act recognizes that a complete and accurate address list and related maps are the foundation for a complete and accurate census. The Act directs the Census Bureau to form partnerships with local and tribal governments willing to assist in improving the address list for Census 2000. This Address List Review opportunity, also referred to as the Local Update of Census Addresses or LUCA program is the first time the law has allowed local and tribal governments to help develop the list of individual residential addresses for a decennial census. This review occurs at the point in the Census 2000 preparatory operations when local government suggestions are most valuable for taking the census.

Contact: Estela B. Mendoza, 301-457-9903



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U.S. Census Monitoring Board
Presidential Members
4700 Silver Hill Road
Suite 1250 – 3
Suitland, MD 20746
Phone: (301) 457-9900
Fax: (301) 457-9901