Census 2000

May 1, 1998 • Volume 8, Issue 17
What is the best way to get an accurate count?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

(Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Census) (Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Census)

The next national census is two years away, but it is already the subject of a fierce, partisan battle in Washington. The Census Bureau wants to use statistical sampling techniques to try to reduce the “undercount” – the difference between the number of people missed by the census and the number who were counted twice. Scientific experts generally favor this method. So do many big-city mayors and civil rights leaders, who believe that the people most likely to be missed are minorities and the poor, especially in urban centers. But Republicans in Congress say that sampling violates the Constitution's call for an “actual enumeration” of the population and invites political manipulation by the Clinton administration. The debate is expected to continue right up to Census Day – April 1, 2000 – and beyond.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Census
May 14, 2010  Census Controversy
May 01, 1998  Census 2000
Mar. 10, 1989  1990 Census: Undercounting Minorities
Feb. 29, 1980  Census Taking, 1980
Mar. 18, 1970  Census Taking, 1970
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Census
Civil Rights: African Americans