2010 Census overcounted in Oklahoma, report says
BY CURTIS KILLMAN World Staff Writer
Thursday, May 24, 2012
5/24/12 at 7:19 AM
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The U.S. Census Bureau estimates it overcounted by 38,900 people the number of people living in Oklahoma during the 2010 census, according to a report released this week.
The review by the Census Bureau of the 2010 Census count shows Oklahoma with an overcount rate of 1.08 percent.
Still, the Census Bureau says its sample-based population estimates for all the states, including Oklahoma in 2010, were not statistically significant undercounts or overcounts.
Nationwide, the Census Bureau estimates it overcounted the population by about 36,000 people or 0.01 percent.
"When you are talking about statistical terms it basically means that number or estimate is not different from zero," said Stacy Gimbel Vidal, Census Bureau spokeswoman.
"So we can't show a confidence that there was either an undercount or overcount there."
Census Bureau officials say they don't plan to adjust any of the 2010 Census population numbers based on the overcounts and undercounts. Census takers counted 3,751,351 people in Oklahoma during the 2010 decennial effort.
The survey used to develop the overcount and undercount estimates excluded people who lived in group quarters such as college dorms or nursing homes.
Census Bureau Director Robert Groves, in prepared remarks, said the evaluation of the net undercount of the total population indicates that "this was outstanding census."
"When this fact is added to prior positive evaluations, the American public can be proud of the 2010 Census their participation made possible," Groves said.
Most of the erroneous overcounts were attributed to duplicates, while a smaller portion were linked to people who died before Census Day, April 1, 2010, or born after Census Day.
As an example, Gimbel Vidal said, a college student may have been counted once on campus and at the same time at their regular home.
Overall, Oklahoma had the third highest overcount rate among the U.S. states.
Meanwhile, the Census Bureau estimates it undercounted citizens in 20 states, including the District of Columbia.
Among Oklahoma counties with data, the Census Bureau estimates it overcounted the Tulsa County resident population by 700 people.
The Census Bureau missed about 1,100 people living in Oklahoma County in 2010, according to the report.
Among Oklahoma cities, census takers undercounted, or missed about 900 people living in the city of Tulsa and 2,000 living in Oklahoma City.
Nationwide, undercounts were highest among minority groups.
The Census Bureau estimated it undercounted 846,000 blacks and 777,000 Hispanics.
American Indians living off reservations and non-Hispanic whites were overcounted by 20,000 people and 1.2 million people. The estimates for the white, black and Hispanic populations were considered significantly different from zero.
"Getting the results will help us as we are looking forward to planning for 2020, to dive in deeper to the results to look where operations are working and what elements of them are not working and how we can improve them," Gimbel Vidal said.
A similar review conducted after the 2000 Census initially indicated that the Census Bureau missed more than 47,000 Oklahomans during that decennial count.
Those preliminary numbers were later revised, Gimbel Vidal said.
The revised study found that census takers actually overcounted the state population by 6,700 people during the 2000 census.
Original Print Headline: Census reports state overcount
Curtis Killman 918-581-8471