Introduction: Results of the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census
William P. O’Hare
Received: 26 June 2013 / Accepted: 29 June 2013 / Published online: 5 September 2013
Ó Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
I am extremely pleased to be the guest editor for this special issue of Population
Research and Policy Review which highlights data from the 2010 U.S. Decennial
Census. Arguably, the Decennial Census is the single most important data collection
effort the federal government undertakes. It is important not only for the data it
provides directly, but also because it supports numerous other activities within the
federal statistical system. For example, it is the basis for post-census population
estimates, and it is the foundation for weighting virtually every government survey.
Decennial Census data play a key role in our democratic form of government.
Decennial Census data are used for reapportioning the seats in Congress and for
drawing new election districts to meet the one-person one-vote requirements
(Anderson and Fienberg 1999; Bryant and Dunn 1995).
In addition, Census data are used in federal funding formulas that distribute more
than $400 billion each year to states and localities (U.S. Senate 1992; Reamer 2010;
Blumerman and Vidal 2009).Census data are often used at the state level for similar
purposes. The accuracy of the Decennial Census data is critical because places that
experience a net undercount do not receive their fair share of such resources
(PriceWaterhouseCooper 2001). According to the U.S. Census Monitoring Board:
Presidential Members 2001, (page 114) ‘‘For the eight federal programs included in
this study, Census 2000 undercount is estimated to cause the District of Columbia
and 31 states adversely affected by the undercount to lose $4.1 billion in federal
funding over the 2002–2012 ﬁscal year period.’’
Data from the Census are often used as denominators for constructing rates such
as the child mortality rate or the child poverty rate (Hernandez and Denton no date).
W. P. O’Hare (&)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD, USA
Popul Res Policy Rev (2013) 32:633–635