Census again refuses to readjust 1990 count

December 30, 1992|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- The Census Bureau said yesterday that i would not readjust its annual population estimates to account for approximately 5.3 million people, largely members of minority groups and the homeless, who were left out of the 1990 Census.

The Bureau did agree, however, to release unofficial adjusted figures that it said federal agencies could use in calculating unemployment rates, economic activity, health status, educational achievements and other data on Americans.

But the most significant effect of the decision is to leave unchanged the statistical basis under which the federal government distributes $60 billion each year for projects ranging from feeding the poor to running mass transit systems. Generally, the larger the population in a given area, the more money it receives.

Hundreds of homeless people were left out of the 1990 population count due to negligence and incompetence by the Census Bureau, according to homeless advocates in Baltimore who filed a federal suit against the Bush administration.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, accuses the Census Bureau of failing even to attempt a complete count of homeless Americans.

In addition, Baltimore and 16 other cities as well as seven states are suing the government to force it to count the millions missed. A federal judge in New York is expected to rule in the case in 1993.

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