Elected officials will have to wait until June to file formal challenges to Houston’s omigosh-where’d-everybody-go? low population count in the 2010 Census, but the grousing has already begun. Houston’s population came in just a Florida recount under 2.1 million; that’s about 160K fewer people than the Census Bureau’s own American Community Survey figured were camping out within city limits the previous year.
Census maps show a huge section of east Houston — most of the area inside Loop 610, east of Interstate 45 – lost population, as did sections of southwest and northeast Houston.
Those areas are predominantly Latino and African-American, populations that historically are most likely to be missed by the census. . . .
[State Rep. Ana] Hernandez Luna said some people, especially immigrants who are here illegally, may have been reluctant to participate, despite assurances that the information would not be shared with immigration agents.
“We’re all a bit skeptical when we’re giving so much detailed information about our household,” she said. “For those that are undocumented, they want the least amount of contact they can have with the government.”
Meanwhile, an analysis of the Census data prepared by Houston’s planning dept. shows that census workers counted 71.7 percent more vacant housing units in the city in 2010 than they did in 2000.
- City to challenge census count [Houston Chronicle]
- Basic Census Data Comparison: 2000 & 2010 (PDF) [Planning Dept.]
- Previously on Swamplot: New 2010 Census Numbers Document Houston’s Trickle-In Decade