Sampling-Based Adjustment of the 2000 Census - A Balanced Perspective

Margo Anderson, Beth Osborne Daponte, Stephen E. Fienberg, Joseph B. Kadane, Bruce D. Spencer and Duane L. Steffey


Long before the issue of adjustment for differential undercount of blacks and other minorities arose in connection with the 1980 and 1990 censuses, public controversy had attended the publication of census results. Recently, Brown, et al. critiqued the results of sampling-based adjustments to the 1980 and 1990 censuses. They concluded that the proposed design for Census 2000, which includes an updated version of such adjustment, is too risky. Their account of past practices contains many errors and misleading statements, however, and is deeply flawed. Here we attempt to provide a more balanced perspective of past practices and the fascinating statistical and legal issues that Census 2000 raises.

Heidi Sestrich
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