U.S. Census Bureau Report shakes up controversy with municipalities

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

It’s a daunting and complicated task to count every single person in the United States, but the U.S. Census Bureau believes its recent numbers are spot on, calling its 2010 results “an outstanding census.”

The Bureau, in fact, is patting itself on the back, claiming that it didn’t find any statistical significant undercount or overcount of the populations in any counties or cities of 100,000 or more people.

Why are the census results important? Federal funding is distributed to states and down to cities based on population.  Each person pulls in about 1500 bucks. If a city or county is undercounted, by even a few hundred people, that can lead to big budget cuts of a small town.

Cities not satisfied with the results can challenge them through the Count Question Resolution Program

Just in the past few weeks, since May 17, nearly 150 challenges have been filed by towns, cities, and counties.  And get this, some cities have more than one challenge.  From those, 56 have resulted in official changes.  

In the Golden state of California, six local governments challenged the results:  

  • Carpinteria-pending
  • Cerritos-no change
  • Colma-pending
  • Laguna Woods-pending
  • San Mateo County-pending
  • Vernon-no change

It’s important to note:  the Bureau says the analysis is better suited to verifying the accuracy of counts in mid-sized and larger cities, so smaller cities may see the benefit of challenges.  

Keep in mind, these smaller areas have to pay for these disputes, but in the end it may be worth the chance and the cost.


Cheryl Getuiza

All stories by: Cheryl Getuiza