NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Losses For Cities, States That Undercount On Census

March 10, 2000

If the 2000 Census undercounts the population at the same rate the 1990 Census did, U.S. cities would lose $11.1 billion in federal funds from 2002 to 2012 -- and states would lose at least $9.1 billion. That is the conclusion of a study conducted by the Census Monitoring Board.

  • The losses for cities would average $3,391 for every person not counted.
  • The New York City metro area would lose the most over the 10-year period, $2.3 billion -- while Los Angeles would lose $1.84, and Houston would fail to collect $453 million in federal funds.
  • California is the state which could experience the largest losses, at $5 billion -- and Texas could lose almost $2 billion.
  • States which have a small undercount will get a larger share of the funds -- with Nebraska, for example, gathering in more than $171 million which might have gone elsewhere.

In 1990, 1.6 percent of the population was missed, according to the Census Bureau. It is projecting a possible 1.9 percent undercount this year. PricewaterhouseCoopers, which did the analysis, projects a 1.7 percent undercount.

Source: Haya El Nasser, "Undercount in Census Could Cost Metro Areas $11B," USA Today, March 10, 2000.


Browse more articles on Government Issues