ERIC Number: ED437494
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
The Overlooked Undercount: Children Missed in the Decennial Census.
O'Hare, William P.
The Census Bureau estimates that more than two million children were missed in the 1990 Census, accounting for more than half the total net undercounted population. This undercount has financial implications because Census data are used to distribute public funds. This paper provides detailed statistics related to the children missed in the 1990 Census, and it highlights trends that will make it more difficult to obtain a complete count of children in the 2000 Census. Among the many reasons children are missed in the count is the uncertain living arrangements of many poor children. A child's "usual place of residence" may not be clear. Children missed in the Census are disproportionately minority children. In every population group except Hispanics, children are missed more often than adults. Native American children living on reservations are missed more often than any other racial/ethnic group. The places where the best data is needed on children are often the places where the actual data is the worst. Large cities have high child poverty rates and high child undercount rates, something that affects the distribution of public funds and the planning of educators and social service delivery systems. A number of trends have been identified that will make the 2000 Census more difficult to conduct than the 1990 Census, and, unless special efforts are made, the undercount of children will be worse in 2000 than in 1990. Gaining an accurate picture of U.S. children in the 2000 Census should be given the highest priority. (Contains 6 tables and 24 endnotes.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.