Census 2010

New Census Data Highlights: Marriage, The Gender Gap, and Longevity

Today the Census Bureau released a series of state-specific findings.  It's like Christmas for the 21st Century America Project.

Today's release reveals that the US population is getting older.  According to the Census Bureau:

In 2010, the median age increased to 37.2 from 35.3 in 2000, with the proportion of older Americans increasing. The 1.9-year increase between 2000 and 2010 was a more modest increase than the 2.4-year increase in median age that occurred between 1990 and 2000. The aging of the baby boom population, along with stabilizing birth rates and longer life expectancy, have contributed to the increase in median age.  

The male population grew faster than the female population, potentially due to a narrowing of the gender gap in longevity:

In 2010, there were 96.7 males for every 100 females in the United States, representing an increase from 2000 when the male-to-female ratio was 96.3 males for every 100 females. The increase in the population of older males was notable over the last decade, with males between the ages of 60 and 74 increasing by 35.2 percent, while females in the same age group increased by just 29.2 percent. This increase in the male population relative to the female population for those 60 and over has led to a notable increase in the sex ratio among this age group – potentially because of the narrowing gap in mortality between older men and women.

Fewer couples are getting married; but more are living together.  From USA Today:

Unmarried couples made up 12% of U.S. couples in 2010, a 25% increase in 10 years, according to Census data out today. Two-thirds of the cities with the largest shares of unmarried couples were in the Northeast and Midwest, up from about half a decade earlier.

You can read more here.

Demographic Explosion Underscores NDN's Predictions

As census news and analysis begins to roll in, we at NDN could not be more excited. For years the team at NDN/NPI has been a leader in helping policymakers better understand the changing demographics of the United States. In the coming year, we are excited to continue our role as interpreter of what these changes mean.

Below you can find some of our 21st Century America efforts, including spot-on demographic analysis by Mike Hais, Morley Winograd and other members of the NDN team and clairvoyant political analysis from Simon on how these demographic shifts are changing modern politics.  I hope you'll take a minute to read these pieces and compare where our analysis was to where we find ourselves today. 

A Continued Look at the Changing Coalitions of 21st Century America, Poll and Presentation, by Mike Hais and Morley Winograd

Hispanics Rising 2010

The American Electorate of the 21st Century, Poll and Presentation, by Mike Hais and Morley Winograd

End of the Southern Strategy, by Simon Rosenberg

The 50 Year Strategy, by Simon Rosenberg and Peter Leyden in Mother Jones

Happy Census Day! Remember: Fill it in & Mail it in ASAP!

I mean, if President Obama found time to do it, can't we all? 



It's quick, it's easy, and it's critical that we mail it in without delay.  Have questions?  The Census website has lots of good information about why the census is important, the process behind it and answers to common misconceptions. 

Video: White House Director of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carrión's Remarks at NDN

On Tuesday, we had the privilege of having White House Director of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carrión join us at NDN for a speech on the 2010 Census, housing and education. I was personally struck by how enthusiastic Director Carrión got when he started talking about urban policy. Be sure to check it out:

Watch or Drop by Tue for "How Hispanics Are Shaping Census, Reapportionment"

On Tue, lunchtime, NDN is co-hosting an event with America's Voice,"How Latinos Are Shaping Census 2010 and Reapportionment.   At the event we will be releasing a major new report with a lots of information about US Hispanic population growth and how it is effecting American politics. 

To learn more, get the coordinates for watching live, or to RSVP visit here.

See you Tuesday.

NYT: How to Waste Money and Ruin the Census

From an editorial today in the NYTimes, "How To Waste Money and Ruin the Census" -

With the start of the 2010 census just a few months away, Senator David Vitter, a Republican of Louisiana, wants to cut off financing for the count unless the survey includes a question asking if the respondent is a United States citizen. Aides say he plans to submit an amendment to the census appropriation bill soon.

As required by law, the Census Bureau gave Congress the exact wording of the survey’s 10 questions in early April 2008 — more than 18 months ago. Changing it now to meet Mr. Vitter’s demand would delay the count, could skew the results and would certainly make it even harder to persuade minorities to participate.

It would also be hugely expensive. The Commerce Department says that redoing the survey would cost hundreds of millions of dollars: to rewrite and reprint hundreds of millions of census forms, to revise instructional and promotional material and to reprogram software and scanners.

During debates in the Senate, Mr. Vitter said that his aim is to exclude noncitizens from population totals that are used to determine the number of Congressional representatives from each state. He is ignoring the fact that it is a settled matter of law that the Constitution requires the census to count everyone in the country, without regard to citizenship, and that those totals are used to determine the number of representatives.


Changing the survey now would be a disaster for the census and for American taxpayers. The Senate should defeat any and all attempts to alter or delay the 2010 count.

We here at NDN agree.  Later this morning, NDN wiill join 10 other groups in a press conference asking the Senate to reject the Vitter-Bennett effort to disrupt the census and reapportionment.  Last week I sent this letter to every Senator asking them to oppose these efforts in the days ahead. 

Check back later for more from our press conference.

The Coming Battle Over the Census

For many months now NDN has been making the case that inevitably the right would make a spirited case to prevent the Census, to be conducted next year, from counting undocumented immigrants, or at least using their numbers to influence reapportionment or the allocation of resources by the government (the primary purpose of the every ten year count).

Today the Wall Street Journal is running a well-articulated early salvo in this coming battle by John S. Baker and Elliot Stonecipher.  It starts off: 

Next year’s census will determine the apportionment of House members and Electoral College votes for each state. To accomplish these vital constitutional purposes, the enumeration should count only citizens and persons who are legal, permanent residents. But it won’t.

Instead, the U.S. Census Bureau is set to count all persons physically present in the country—including large numbers who are here illegally. The result will unconstitutionally increase the number of representatives in some states and deprive some other states of their rightful political representation. Citizens of “loser” states should be outraged. Yet few are even aware of what’s going on.

In 1790, the first Census Act provided that the enumeration of that year would count “inhabitants” and “distinguish” various subgroups by age, sex, status as free persons, etc. Inhabitant was a term with a well-defined meaning that encompassed, as the Oxford English Dictionary expressed it, one who “is a bona fide member of a State, subject to all the requisitions of its laws, and entitled to all the privileges which they confer.”

Thus early census questionnaires generally asked a question that got at the issue of citizenship or permanent resident status, e.g., “what state or foreign country were you born in?” or whether an individual who said he was foreign-born was naturalized. Over the years, however, Congress and the Census Bureau have added inquiries that have little or nothing to do with census’s constitutional purpose.

By 1980 there were two census forms. The shorter form went to every person physically present in the country and was used to establish congressional apportionment. It had no question pertaining to an individual’s citizenship or legal status as a resident. The longer form gathered various kinds of socioeconomic information including citizenship status, but it went only to a sample of U.S. households. That pattern was repeated for the 1990 and 2000 censuses.

The 2010 census will use only the short form. The long form has been replaced by the Census Bureau’s ongoing American Community Survey. Dr. Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau’s Immigration Statistics Staff, told us in a recent interview that the 2010 census short form does not ask about citizenship because “Congress has not asked us to do that.”

Because the census (since at least 1980) has not distinguished citizens and permanent, legal residents from individuals here illegally, the basis for apportionment of House seats has been skewed. According to the Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey data (2007), states with a significant net gain in population by inclusion of noncitizens include Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas. (There are tiny net gains for Hawaii and Massachusetts.)

This makes a real difference. Here’s why:

According to the latest American Community Survey, California has 5,622,422 noncitizens in its population of 36,264,467. Based on our round-number projection of a decade-end population in that state of 37,000,000 (including 5,750,000 noncitizens), California would have 57 members in the newly reapportioned U.S. House of Representatives.

However, with noncitizens not included for purposes of reapportionment, California would have 48 House seats (based on an estimated 308 million total population in 2010 with 283 million citizens, or 650,000 citizens per House seat). Using a similar projection, Texas would have 38 House members with noncitizens included. With only citizens counted, it would be entitled to 34 members.

You get the idea. 

We've been arguing, aggressively, that it is important for the Obama Administration to pass Compehensive Immigration Reform by March of 2010 (the count begins in April, 2010) in order to avoid what could become a very nasty debate indeed - in the middle of a very important election - about who exactly is an American.   To me the need to conduct a clean and accurate census, so essential to effective governance of the nation, is one of the most powerful reasons why immigration reform cannot wait till 2011, as some have suggested.

For more on this see my recent essay - Why Congress Should Pass Immigration Reform This Year.

And so the debate begins.

Update: The key passage from the 14th Amendment:

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State.

Se viene el Censo.

Uno de los temas centrales en la Conferencia de NALEO la semana pasada fue el inminente Censo del 2010.Se discutieron cuestiones claves; incluyendo el impacto del Censo en la comunidad latina, la importancia del Censo para los latinos y la confidencialidad de sus respuestas; y las oportunidades y estrategias para Oficiales latinos elegidos en sus propias jurisdicciones para contribuir a una cuenta de población nacional más precisa .

El Dr .Steven H. Murdock, Director del Buró del Censo habló de los cambios demográficos que se vieron desde el 1980: particularmente el gran crecimiento de la población hispana- que ahora supera los 45 millones. La Constitución establece que el Censo debe incluir a toda la población, sin importar si es que son residentes legales o ilegales, pero ésto es un gran problema porque los latinos que se encuentran ilegales tienen miedo de ser descubiertos. También habló de las diferencias de éste Censo con el Censo pasado. En primer lugar el Buró creó un nuevo formulario para reemplazar al "formulario largo". También ha mejorado su systema de mapeo "TIGER". Ha abierto nuevas oficinas de Censo regionales y ha creado/firmado un nuevo contrato de comunicaciones y confidencialidad. El Buró anticipa contar con 600.000 personas trabajando en el campo para el Censo- personas que provienen de las comunidades locales en las que estarán trabajando. Ésta es una estrategia que les ayudará a dar la imagen de que el Censo es inofensivo, lo cual mejorará -ellos esperan- la participación latina.

La Sra. Linda De Jesús-Cutler, Presidenta de GlobalHue Latino, describió los objetivos de su campaña: Aumentar la respuesta por correo, mejorar la exactitud de la información y la cooperación con los enumeradores. Concluyó que debemos educar a la gente sobre los beneficios del Censo y hacer referencia al debate de inmigración para que aquellos que están en éste país ilegalmiente pierdan su miedo y se animen a participar. Es necesario enfatizar questionarios bilingues (inglés-español) y comunicar a las gente que el questionario del Censo es rápido y simple de completar. También debe asegurar que el tono de la estrategia de comunicación esté en línea con el clima sociopolítico actual por medio de un mensaje de fortalecimiento para alcanzar a los hispanos de una manera efectiva. Para finalizar, también se debe influenciar a través de la apelación a la pasión, la propulsión y las aspiraciones del sueño Americano. La Estrategia de publicidad será la campaña "Está en nuestras manos" , un mensaje que ellos creen fortalece a la comunidad latina y a su vez apela a la acción. También utilizaran programas de medios de comunicación en español que son populares entre los hispanos (como Univisión, etc.). La Televisión local y nacional, periódicos de la comunidad y recursos online.

La Honorable Ana Sol Gutiérrez, Delegada del Estado de Maryland y Miembro del Comité Asesor del Censo habló de la importancia de "asegurarnos de que el voto latino no se pierda". El Censo mejora la representación para el pueblo, asi como también la atención a temas de educación, salud y transporte. Otras ventajas del Censo es que propone la discusión de nuevos temas, y se dirige hacia las políticas de inmigración en un nivel congresional. De otra forma- dijo -" tendríamos una falta de participación deliberada en el Censo por parte de los latinos por miedo a las leyes". Preocupada por la pobre representación de los latinos en el Censo, la Sra Gutiérrez propuso un análisis del impacto del Acto Patriota en los esfuerzos de conseguir información, como por ejemplo el Censo. Otra sugerencia que propuso fue el reclutamiento de mas latinos en altos niveles del Buró del Censo, ya que existe sólo un 5.4% de latinos en el Staff. "Los latinos en el Staff del Censo" -comentó- "son una fuerza con muy baja representación. Por eso, necesitamos presionar para identificar candidatos que puedan ocupar posiciones en niveles de GS-15. Necesitamos ver un gran cambio en la manera en que el Buró contrata a empleados para el Censo."

Más información se puede encontrar aquí o en La Red de Censo Latino.

El evento del Censo en NALEO contó con una participación muy activa de la audiencia. Aparentemente la estrategia del Buró intenta ajustarse a los cambios demógraficos del país (que NDN ha discutido muchas veces en sus reportes), especialmente el crecimiento enorme en la población latina. Esperemos que la cantidad de latinos participando en el próximo Censo también represente ese crecimiento. Necesitamos apuntarnos y colaborar con el Censo, ya que una alta participación nos favorece en lo que se refiere - entre otras cosas- a la futura distribución de recursos. Los latinos ya sufrimos las consecuencias de una falta de representación. Contribuyamos juntos, la visibilidad de la comunidad latina está en nuestras manos.

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