WASHINGTON (May 31, 2012) — WASHINGTON—On May 22, the U.S. Census Bureau released results from its post-enumeration survey, which determines the accuracy of the 2010 Census. The results found that the 2010 Census was an accurate count of Americans generally. For the Asian American population, the Census Bureau found that 0.1 percent of Asian Americans were missed by Census 2010. The results also suggest that roughly 1.3 percent of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders were missed by Census 2010.
“We are heartened that the post-enumeration survey showed a generally accurate count of the Asian American community,” said Terry Ao Minnis, AAJC’s director of voting and census programs. “AAJC partnered with our affiliates and many Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander grassroots organizations across the country to help promote extensive census participation by our communities.”
“However, we remain concerned that thousands of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders may have been missed during the 2010 Census,” continued Minnis. “The Census Bureau should increase its efforts to engage Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities through hiring and outreach decisions, among others efforts.”
In achieving a generally accurate count of Asian Americans, the Census Bureau provided a robust language program, strong partnership program, including hiring many partnership specialists, and had an extensive media campaign that included marketing for hard-to-count communities. However, Dr. Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau, noted that the undercount of historically overlooked groups in Census 2010 would have been “much, much worse” were it not for collaborative outreach and promotion campaigns involving the Census Bureau and community advocates.
Having conducted Census 2000 and 2010 education campaigns, AAJC plays a significant role in census policy and community outreach, and served as an appointed member of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s 2010 Census Advisory Committee. Because the evaluation results do not show whether the census counted all Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander subgroups with equal accuracy, AAJC continues to urge the Census Bureau to recognize and address the diversity of our community as it plans for Census 2020.
“As we continue to grow and move into new areas of the country, the challenges of counting such a diverse portion of the U.S. population will increase,” added Minnis. “Congress must allocate adequate resources to the Census Bureau at this early but critical point in the decade, to ensure thorough research and testing for the next census.”
Additionally, AAJC calls upon Congress to keep the ACS intact, reversing the recent action by the House of Representatives to eliminate the American Community Survey. The ACS provides both a test-bed for the 2020 Census and vital data on the social and economic characteristics of our nation to inform decennial census planning as well as to address our communities’ needs and concerns. AAJC stands ready to work with Congress, the Census Bureau, and foundations who supported Census 2010 to ensure Census 2020 is even better, particularly for those communities historically undercounted.
The Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, works closely with its affiliate organizations – the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles – to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.