government and for private organizations.6 Rep. Carolyn Maloney continued to push the issue forward, as well, sponsoring bills to authorize and pay for an interim census of Americans abroad in 2003 and to begin planning for the inclusion of all Americans living overseas in the 2010 census (H.R. 3649 and H.R. 4568).

When the apportionment counts were released in December 2000, North Carolina edged Utah for the 435th House seat by fewer than 1,000 people. Utah brought suit, charging that the Census Bureau’s treatment of Americans living abroad was unfair in that military personnel and other federal employees stationed overseas are included in the apportionment counts but other civilians are not. Specifically, Utah challenged the exclusion of approximately 11,000 missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: these missionaries may live abroad temporarily, and many of them would ordinarily be counted in Utah. For uniformity, Utah held that federal employees stationed overseas should be dropped from the apportionment counts. The U.S. District Court for Utah ruled against the state in April 2001, a ruling affirmed without comment by the U.S. Supreme Court later that year.7

C.4
THE 2004 OVERSEAS CENSUS TEST

Following the Utah challenge, as well as the Bureau’s required report to congressional appropriators on issues of counting Americans overseas, plans developed for an overseas enumeration test in July 2004. For the 2004 test, the Bureau chose France, Kuwait, and Mexico as test sites. Following procedures like those used in the 1960 and 1970 censuses, the test relied on citizens who lived abroad to obtain a form from a U.S. embassy or consular office. The Bureau mounted some publicity efforts in English-language newspapers and media in the test countries. In all, the Bureau estimated that the planning, execution, and analysis of the test cost $7.8 million.

The Government Accountability Office issued two reports on the overseas test, one noting general concern about the direction and utility of the test (U.S. General Accounting Office, 2004) and the other analyzing the test’s results (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2004a). The reports concluded that the test suffered from design shortcomings that fundamentally

6

House Report 106-1005 (conference report covering a range of federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Commerce), pp. 256–257.

7

Even as their overseas challenge was in process, Utah filed a second legal challenge—like the first, known as Utah v. Evans—claiming that certain types of imputation for nonresponse used by the Census Bureau constituted statistical sampling and were thus prohibited by a 1999 Supreme Court ruling. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and decided in favor of the Census Bureau on June 20, 2002 (Utah v. Evans, 536 U.S. 452). See National Research Council (2004c:Box 2.2 and generally) for additional detail on the case and imputation methods in the 2000 census.



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