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Monday, June 14, 1999
Kenneth Blackwell

For a Better Census

To the Editor:

Your June 7 editorial "A Much Bigger Census Bill" suggests that statistically adjusted numbers are more accurate than census counts. While adjusted numbers are fairly good for states and large cities, the Census Bureau has found that adjusted numbers are not reliable for areas of less than 100,000 people. In particular, adjustment will do little to correct heavily undercounted neighborhoods with large minority and immigrant populations. A review of sampled blocks in the 1990 Census shows that the proposed adjustment made only marginal increases to heavily undercounted blocks and frequently added people to overcounted blocks.

The best ways to insure fair representation of undercounted neighborhoods are to direct additional outreach and advertising resources to those neighborhoods and to hire the people who live there to do the counting.

Co-chmn., Census Monitoring Board
Suitland, Md., June 7, 1999

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