Census Estimates US Population at 330 Million

December 17, 2020by Michael Macagnone, CQ-Roll Call (TNS)
At least 330 million people lived in the United States as of April, according to a Census Bureau estimate. (Dreamstime/TNS)

WASHINGTON — At least 330 million people lived in the United States as of April, according to a Census Bureau estimate released Tuesday that will serve as one of the first accuracy checks for forthcoming decennial census results.

The agency produces the estimate, referred to as demographic analysis, in parallel to the count each decade. This year, outside experts are watching closely to see how much the decennial census will reflect, or miss, the total population in the United States.

Ron Jarmin, the agency’s deputy director for operations, acknowledged the “extraordinary challenges” the census faced this cycle, primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know that data users are eager for this information, and as are we, because of the important role these quality metrics play in telling us how well we did at counting everyone once, only once and in the right place,” Jarmin said in a call with reporters.

With the stakes so high for census results — they determine distribution of House seats and guide more than $1.5 trillion in federal spending annually — the agency releases several measures of how accurately it counted the country.

The Census Bureau builds its population estimate from birth and death records, Medicare rolls and estimates of immigration into and out of the United States. In comparison, the actual census relies on a combination of household responses and a physical count by census workers.

Eric Jensen, who works as a senior technical expert for the Census Bureau’s demographic analysis, said the estimate will help the agency calculate the undercounts and overcounts for the decennial census.

The population estimate released Tuesday will provide one check on census results that have many unknowns around them. The agency still hasn’t said when it will be able to release the results; officials said they aimed to finalize the numbers “as close as possible” to an end-of-year statutory deadline.

However, the agency has publicly acknowledged errors in close to 1 million records that could take weeks to fix, pushing the apportionment delivery into late January.

Last week, the agency said it would provide detailed information about self-response to the census — considered the most accurate method of responding to the count — but less detailed data about how it counted people with door-to-door workers or through administrative records.

Overall, the agency estimates that between 330 and 335 million people lived in the United States as of April 1, the reference day for the 2020 census. That’s about 20 million more people in the country than in 2010, roughly a 6 percent change. The country’s growth has slowed over the last several decades, last increasing by more than 10% between 1980 and 1990.

About 45 million people identify as Black, according to the estimate, which is based on limited data; the Census Bureau only produces national estimates, and can only measure by Black and non-Black population.

For people under 30, the agency has started producing estimates of the Hispanic population, coinciding with the addition of ethnicity data to birth records in 1990. About 31 million people under 30 identify as Hispanic, which represents more than 20 percent of the population that age.

___

(c)2020 CQ Roll Call

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

In The News

Health

Voting

Census

Harvard Researchers Recommend Census Not Use Privacy Tool
In The News
Harvard Researchers Recommend Census Not Use Privacy Tool

A group of Harvard researchers has come out against the U.S. Census Bureau's use of a controversial method to protect privacy with the numbers used for redrawing congressional and legislative districts, saying it doesn't produce data good enough for redistricting. The Harvard researchers said in a... Read More

Conservatives Aim at Census' Method for Uncounted Households
Census
Conservatives Aim at Census' Method for Uncounted Households

When U.S. Census Bureau workers couldn't find out any information about some households after repeatedly mailing them questionnaire reminders and sending census takers to knock on their doors, the statisticians turned to an obscure, last-resort statistical technique known as "imputation." Less than 1% of households were... Read More

Judges Hear Arguments Over Contentious Census Privacy Tool
Litigation
Judges Hear Arguments Over Contentious Census Privacy Tool

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The fight over whether the U.S. Census Bureau can use a controversial statistical technique to keep people's information private in the numbers used for drawing political districts on Monday went before a judicial panel that must decide if the method provides enough... Read More

'We Did It!': Minnesota Exults at Census Win at NY's Expense
Census
'We Did It!': Minnesota Exults at Census Win at NY's Expense

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesotans spent 18 months worrying over whether the 2020 census would finally cost them a precious seat in Congress, expecting to lose one to faster-growing competitors in the South  and West even if they found and counted every last soul in the state.... Read More

Fear, Lack of Funding Hurt Census in Sun Belt, Advocates Say
Census
Fear, Lack of Funding Hurt Census in Sun Belt, Advocates Say

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — According to the new census, the booming Sun Belt isn't booming quite like the experts thought.Population counts released Monday came as a shock to many demographers and politicians who expected to see growth that could add numerous congressional seats to a region... Read More

Census Bureau: Six States to Gain House Seats, Seven Lose One
Congress
Census Bureau: Six States to Gain House Seats, Seven Lose One
April 26, 2021
by Dan McCue

Six states will see their congressional delegations grow in the next Congress, officials with the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday. Dr. Ron S. Jarmin, the bureau’s acting director, said as of April 1, 2020, the number of people living in the United States was 331,449,281, a... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top