Friday, April 3, 2009

The census is done only once every ten years, which means it's pretty important that it's done right. We all know that Republicans have a huge investment in doing it wrong, in counting only the people who come to the door and answer the phone and not using statistics and probabilities to figure out who was missed. This year, there are going to be more problems, because of the huge number of foreclosures and the large numbers of people living in tent cities:
“Many people now who have lost their homes to foreclosure are doubling up with relatives, with other families. They might be living in motels . . . tent cities are popping up,” said Terry-Ann Lowenthal, a consultant for many non-profit organisations co-operating with the bureau on the 2010 census. “All of these new living situations create really significant challenges to traditional counting operations.”

One in nine US homeowners with a mortgage was behind on home loan ­payments or in some stage of foreclosure by the end of last year and reports are growing of the desperate measures to which people are turning when they lose their homes. Almost 300,000 homes received foreclosure filings in February alone, according to RealtyTrac.

There is little data on the rise in “non-traditional” housing, which is something the Census Bureau will generate for the first time as it seeks people out this year.

“Some of the first really hard data we have will come from this census, and it’s a big concern, there’s no question about it,” said Burton H. Reist, assistant to the associate director for communications at the bureau.

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