The 1990 Census, like others before it, failed to count all of the country’s residents. The consequences of this undercount are reflected in many ways, from the allocation of congressional representation (apportionment) to the delineation of state legislative districts (redistricting) to the allocation of federal and state funding during the last 10 years. In 1990 the Census Bureau estimated the number of people not counted by conducting a post-enumeration survey separately from the Census and comparing the findings.

The data indicate that populations were undercounted at different rates. For example, Blacks, American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AIAN), Asians and Pacific Islanders (API), and Hispanics were missed at higher rates than Whites in general. To cite an actual example, in the United States overall, the Census Bureau estimates a net undercount of about 4.0 million people in 1990, giving us an undercount rate of approximately 1.6%. The estimate for Whites is about 1.8 million, for a rate of 0.9%. However, although fewer Blacks (1.4 million) than Whites were missed, they were missed at a higher rate, approximately 4.4%. Children also were disproportionately missed in the last census. The net undercount for children - about 3.2% - is twice the overall rate.

In South Florida, the overall undercount in 1990 is estimated to have been almost 100,000, or 2.9%, almost double the national average.  The undercount rate for South Florida Blacks was 4.4%, and for the region's Hispanics, 5.2%.

Official and adjusted estimates and the undercounts/overcounts and rates for South Florida counties and municipalities can be found by clicking on the links below.

For additional information and for adjusted population counts for other geographic areas, be sure to visit the Census Bureau web site.


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