Components of the 1990 Census Count

T-GGD-91-8: Published: Feb 21, 1991. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Census Bureau's primary components of the 1990 census count. GAO noted that: (1) the 1990 census population count came from data that individuals and households provided, data gathered from nonhousehold sources, and data generated through statistical procedures; (2) there were no data available that clearly showed how much each of the three sources contributed to the census count, but households provided most census population data; (3) for the resident population of 248.7 million in 1990, preliminary data showed that about 166.9 million persons were enumerated through mail surveys; (4) about 10.9 million persons were enumerated in areas where the Bureau did not use mail surveys; (5) the Bureau enumerated about 6.6 million persons in such group quarters as nursing homes and homeless shelters; (6) the Bureau counted about 58.8 million persons during census follow-up efforts, mostly as part of households that provided data on themselves to a census enumerator; (7) two census programs, which together added 1.4 million persons to the census count, relied heavily on administrative records; (8) the Bureau reported that about 384,000 parolees or probationers responded to attempts to gather census data, representing only 15 percent of the estimated number of parolees or probationers; and (9) although final data were not available, the Bureau may have gathered census data from surrogates for about 7.3 million persons.

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