Impact of the Census Undercount on Cities A 34-City Survey
Currently, no national data exist on the fiscal impact
of the census undercount on local governments. In an effort to estimate the impact of the
1990 undercount on cities, and to estimate the likely impact of similar inaccuracies in
the 2000 census, The U.S. Conference of Mayors obtained and analyzed information from 34
cities. Among the findings of that analysis:
The number of persons estimated to be undercounted in the survey
cities represents an average of four percent of the cities populations.
Across the 34 cities, the estimated total loss in federal and state
funds during the 1990s resulting from the 1990 undercount was $536 million. The amount
lost to the cities during the 1990s averaged $1,230 for each person not counted in the
city; for each person in the city who was included in the citys 1990 population
count, the loss averaged $56 per person.
- Twenty of the cities were able to estimate that if the 2000 census maintains the same
level of inaccuracy as the 1990 census, their loss in federal and state funds during the
first decade of the 21st century would total $677 million. This represents an
average of $2,263 for each person not counted in the city, or $129 per person for each
person in the city who is included in the citys 2000 census count.