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Bill O’Hare at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire has put out a report on which counties in rural America may be overlooked in the upcoming Census. Getting a correct count is important, of course, because all manner of state and federal programs are parceled out based on what the Census finds.
O’Hare finds that rural residents are easier to count over all than city populations. But there are groups that are consistently undercounted: Blacks in the rural south, Hispanics on the border and American Indians in the Southwest and Northern Plains. O’Hare says that an analysis of the 1990 census found that “nearly 13 percent of people living on an American Indian reservation were missed compared with less than 2 percent in the overall census.”
O’Hare describes why some rural areas are undercounted. And there is a handy map (above) showing which counties (rural and urban) are most likely to be undercounted.