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UCLA Report Finds Latinos, Blacks Most Likely To be Missed by Census

UCLA Report Finds Latinos, Blacks Most Likely To be Missed by Census


Latinos and African Americans in Los Angeles County account for a disproportionate number of people who were not counted in Census 2000, according to a new UCLA analysis.

Los Angeles County neighborhoods with the highest undercount rates also had high levels of poverty and a higher percentage of children, the analysis, conducted by The Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, showed. There were fewer people in these neighborhoods who owned their homes, and more unemployed people and foreign-born residents than in neighborhoods with low undercount rates, according to the analysis.

“We already know that Los Angeles County has a disproportionate number of the undercounted population in the state,” says Dr. Paul Ong, director of the Lewis Center and a professor in the School of Public Policy and Social Research. “What this in-depth analysis shows is that the neighborhoods with the greatest needs tend to be the ones most at risk of being underrepresented, underserved and inadequately funded.

“The analysis really raises concerns in terms of how public resources are distributed to the cities and counties, and ultimately to the neighborhoods who need it the most,” Ong says.

In neighborhoods with the highest rate of undercount, Latinos accounted for 69 percent of the population and African Americans constituted 18 percent, compared with 5 percent for Whites, according to the analysis.

In neighborhoods with the lowest rate of undercount, Whites accounted for 62 percent of the population, and African Americans and Latinos constituted 4 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Overall, the undercount rate for African Americans in the county was about six times higher than that of Whites. For Latinos, it was five times higher than that of Whites.

Los Angeles County cities that had the highest undercount rates included Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Hawthorne and Huntington Park, while cities that had the lowest undercount rates included Rolling Hills, Arcadia, Cerritos and Santa Clarita. The analysis also showed that while Los Angeles County accounts for 28 percent of the state’s total population, 34 percent of undercounted persons are in the county. Thirty percent of undercounted children also are in the county.

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