Population Research and Policy Review 21: 19–38, 2002.
© 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Coverage of the population in Census 2000: Results from
J. GREGORY ROBINSON, KIRSTEN K. WEST & ARJUN ADLAKHA
U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC, USA
Abstract. Since the 1960 Census, Demographic Analysis (DA) has been used by the Census
Bureau to evaluate the coverage of the population. Administrative statistics on births, deaths,
immigration and Medicare enrollments as well as estimates of legal emigration and net undoc-
umented immigration are used to produce demographic analysis estimates of the population
for the census date. These estimates are compared to the Census 2000 data to evaluate coverage
in the census. The results are also compared to measures of undercount obtained from dual
system estimation. The DA measures substantial reduction in net undercount in Census 2000
compared to 1990. The reductions occur among all demographic categories: all broad age
groups, males and females, Blacks and Non-Blacks.
Keywords: Demographic analysis, Census coverage, net undercount
In the United States, methods of Demographic Analysis have a long history
for measuring population coverage trends between censuses and differences
in coverage by age, sex, and race (Black, Non-Black) at the national level.
Demographic Analysis (DA) has documented the long-term reduction in the
census net undercount rate over the last 50 years; yet DA also reveals the
persistent and disproportionate undercount of certain demographic groups
(such as Black men). This paper examines the initial results for Census 2000.
A goal of Census 2000 was to reduce these “differential” undercounts.
Two methods are traditionally used to evaluate the completeness of cover-
age of the census. In addition to DA, a dual system estimation methodology
is employed. In Census 2000, the dual system estimation methodology was
referred to as the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.). The A.C.E.
program is described elsewhere (see for example U.S. Bureau of the Census
2001b); DA is the focus of this article. First, we review the DA method
to show how the estimates are constructed. Then we present the initial DA
estimates of coverage for Census 2000. Based on these results, we develop
alternative DA estimates of coverage. Finally, we compare DA and A.C.E.
estimates. Note that the DA estimates and A.C.E. estimates discussed in this
paper are based on March 2001 results. The estimates are subject to change