Identifying Communities where Census Outreach is Most Needed

Posted by Admin / on 09/16/2009 / 0 Comments

Categories: Census 2010, Hard to Count Areas, Home Page Feature

Source: Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Identifying Communities where Census Outreach is Most Needed, 2009

Since the 1990 census the Census Bureau has been working to identify the types of communities that have a greater risk of being undercounted. To assist with locating these communities, the Census Bureau analyzed a range of demographic, housing, and socio-economic variables that correlate to census survey's low mail response and low enumeration coverage. The Census Bureau has designated these areas as "Hard-to-Count" (HTC) areas.

In order to determine the difficulty of these areas to be counted, the areas were given a score an HTC score. The HTC score or index, which ranged from a value of 0 to as high as 132, incorporated twelve different variables.

With each variable valued from 0 to 11, the twelve combined can result in a minimum score of zero and a maximum score of 132. The higher the score the more difficult the area is to count. Analysis by the Census Bureau's identified areas with a high or "strong" HTC score as those with an index number of 60 or more.  Figure 1 shows the national distribution of people living in Tracts with HTC score greater than 60.

The HTC data is the centerpiece of a Planning Database (PDB) utilized by the Census Bureau to assist in locating areas of the country that will be difficult to enumerate in the upcoming 2010 Census. The publicly available PDB database contains data at the Census Tract Level.  In addition to the twelve HTC variables, the PDB includes 35 other geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic variables to further assist with identifying difficult to reach areas. For additional  information, review the report by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice: Identify Communities where Census Outreach is Most Needed (pdf).


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