The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Census 2000 Education Kit
Census 2000 Table of Contents
- An Overview
- The Affect of an Undercount on Local Communities
- Workers And Their Families
- People of Color
- Individuals With Disabilities
- Senior Citizens
- Rural Areas
Census Bureau's Plan
- The Census Bureau's Plan For Census 2000
- Legal Challenges To Sampling
- How Do We Know There Is An Undercount?
- The Difference Between Redistricting and Reapportionment
- What The Experts Say
- What The Newspapers Say
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Importance Of The Ancestry Question
- Achieving Accuracy In The 2000 Census
Census 2000 In Your Community
America's Children Need an Accurate Count in 2000
Children are our greatest resource, or so the saying goes. America invests in the next generation through its public school systems and through health care, housing, childcare, nutrition and immunization programs, especially targeting poor children and working families. According to the Census Bureau, there are about 69 million children under 18 in the United States today; this number is expected to grow to nearly 72 million in 2005.
Even though kids cannot vote, it would be a shame if America decides that children do not count either. But that is a real possibility given the recent debate in Congress over the upcoming census.
According to the Census Bureau, more than 8 million people were left out of the 1990 census while more than 4 million were counted twice. Children under 18 constituted 26 percent of the U.S. population that year, but they accounted for an incredible 52 percent of the census undercount. Even worse, half of those uncounted kids were poor.
These numbers translate to two million youngsters whose states and local communities did not get their fair share of the $180 billion in federal funding that is distributed nationwide on the basis of census data. Census data provide the basis for many of the most important decisions that federal, state and local officials have to make: How many child care facilities are needed and where should they be located? How many people will be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits? What kinds of ser vices will be needed to care for people with disabilities, the elderly, and the homeless? What level of resources will be needed to keep kids in school, to build recreation sites and staff quality after-school activities, to give teenagers job training?
Therefore, when children were missed by the census, their communities were shortchanged on federal and state spending for schools, crime prevention, health care, and transportation. The communities that were shortchanged were those that are most in need o f social services and economic development programs. This has meant a continuing hardship for state and local officials trying to serve the needs of their communities. Millions of dollars are incorrectly distributed each year based on inaccurate population figures. In effect, communities most in need are underfunded while communities least in need are overfunded.
For example, census information is used for:
- Child Care and Development Block Grants to defend the health of infants, children and families who use child care services;
- The well-known Head Start program that offers a wide range of medical, dental, mental health, education and language development services, primarily to low-income children and their families;
- The Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant program helps prevent trauma to kids and women in rural areas;
- The Crime Victim Assistance program and Public Safety Partnership and Community Policing Grants help keep our neighborhoods safer; and,
- Programs run by states and localities for Neglected and Delinquent Children, Child Care for Families At Risk of Welfare Dependency, Education for Homeless Children and Youth, and special education Grants for Infants and Families with Disabilities, help ensure that all kids have the opportunity to succeed.
All of these programs and dozens more are run by local agencies with federal grants distributed on the basis of the census data. When the 1990 census miscounted the nation's kids, listing some where they were not and leaving two million others out of the tally altogether, funding that should have helped them was not available.
The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) analyzed the 1990 undercount of children in 188 cities across the nation and determined the number of schools and full time teachers that would be missed in these cities if the undercounts for the 2000 census are no great er than they were in 1990 (see attached).
Two Million Missing Children
Children's Defense Fund Calculates Undercount of Children in 188 Cities if Census Bureau Cannot Use Recommended Scientific Methods
At a press conference held today sponsored by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights at the National Press Club, Deborah Weinstein, Director of the Children's Defense Fund's Family Income Division issued this statement:
"Out of the net 4 million undercount in the 1990 census, more than half were children. The percent of minority children missed was alarmingly high: 7 percent of Black children; 3.2 percent of Asian American children; 6.2 percent of American Indian children; and 5 percent of Hispanics children, all not counted in 1990.
"Children can't vote. It will be a shame if America decides that children don't count either.
"The Children's Defense Fund looked at the undercounts measured in 188 cities in 42 states plus the District of Columbia for the 1990 Census. If the undercounts for the 2000 Census are no greater than they were in 1990, the census will miss:
- more than 6,400 children in Miami;
- more than 52,000 children in Los Angeles;
- more than 18,000 children in Philadelphia;
- almost 4,700 children in Cincinnati.
" The number of missed children equals:
- 77 schools staffed by 2, 177 teachers in Los Angeles;
- 33 schools staffed by 1,067 teachers in Philadelphia.
"Communities allocate, based on the census, billions in annual funds that matter for children, including federal school aid, the child care block grant and early childhood education, special education for preschoolers, domestic violence prevention, and many other services children need. What could be more basic? Resources to improve children's education and provide for their safety can only go where the are needed if we know where our children are.
"The use of scientific methods recommended by a panel set up at the behest of Congress by the National Academy of Sciences and endorsed by expert researchers will allow the Census Bureau to make its count far more accurate. Congress should act swiftly to approve the budget for the census so they can proceed with this sensible plan.
"We can't proclaim that our children count if we're not even willing to count them accurately."