Racial and Ethnic Differences in U. S. Census Omission Rates

Abstract

This article assesses differences in rates of omission across seven race-ethnicity groups in the 1980 census to learn more about the social factors that condition census enumeration. Findings indicate that there are multiple sources of error, that these sources reflect distinctive ethnic attributes to a greater degree than shared minority status, and that census omissions have both inadvertent and motivational causes. The discussion notes some of the implications for improving coverage in future censuses.

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Fein, D.J. Racial and Ethnic Differences in U. S. Census Omission Rates. Demography 27, 285–302 (1990). https://doi.org/10.2307/2061454

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Keywords

  • Household Head
  • Current Population Survey
  • Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • Omission Rate
  • Census Form