Through The Static

April 24, 2008

Test run for 2010 census is scaled back, worrying experts

Filed under: Government,Politics — Tranimal @ 11:41 am


The Census Bureau has scaled back its dress rehearsal for the once-a-decade national head count, raising fears that thousands of soldiers, immigrants and other hard-to-reach people will go uncounted when the population survey is conducted in 2010.

“It’s like sending up a rocket for a moon shot and not doing the final test on how to land,” warned former Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt, who oversaw the agency during the 2000 count.

The dry run is now under way in two states, with more than a half-million households receiving questionnaires from the Census Bureau. But the agency dropped such routine follow-up practices as sending census takers door-to-door to check whether homes on the bureau’s mailing list are vacant or occupied, and dispatching workers to figure out the best way to reach soldiers on military bases.

Because the dry run helps shape the way the national head count is ultimately carried out, some politicians and demographers worry that the census will miss members of the military, inmates, homeless people, college students, migrant workers and immigrants, both legal and illegal


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