Who Lives in Hard-to-Count Neighborhoods

William P. O’Hare


For more than 20 years the U.S. Census Bureau has engaged in work to identify local areas that are likely to be difficult to enumerate in the Decennial Census. Such areas have been labeled “Hard-to-count.” In this study I use the final Mail Return Rates from the 2010 Census to identify a group of Census Tracts that I label Hard-to-Count or HTC. Once HTC Tracts have been identified I examine the demographic characteristics and socioeconomic characteristics of the population living in the HTC Tracts and compare them the population in all Tracts. Demographic characteristics of the HTC Tracts examined here include location, age, race, and sex, along with several socioeconomic measures such as poverty and living arrangements. The distribution of characteristics for the population residing in the HTC Census Tracts is compared to the distribution for all Tracts to develop a HTC concentration ratio. The HTC Tracts are highly concentrated geographically. The 25 counties with the most HTC Tracts account for half of all HTC Tracts. Blacks, Hispanics and American Indian populations are highly concentrated in HTC Tracts. Demographic groups with the highest concentration in HTC Tracts are identified and the net undercount rates for these groups are examined. The relationship between concentration in HTC neighborhoods and Census undercount rates is mixed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v4i4.1441


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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