United States Census, 2000

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2000 US Census logo
The Twenty-Second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census. This was the twenty-second federal census and the largest single civil administrative peacetime effort in the history of the United States.

The U.S. resident population includes the total number of people in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Bureau also enumerated the residents of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; its population was 3,808,610, an 8.1% increase over the number from a decade earlier.

Population profile

See also Race.

In an introduction to a more detailed population profile (see references below), the Census Bureau highlighted the following facts about U.S population dynamics:
  • 75.1% of respondents said they were White or Caucasian and no other race;
  • 21.36% (60 Million Americans) are of German descent; German-Americans
  • 12.3% are of Black or African-American descent;
  • Hispanics — who may belong to any race — accounted for 12.5% of the U.S. population, up from 9% in 1990;
  • 3.6% of respondents are Asian;
  • 2.4% of respondents are multiracial (2 or more races). The 2000 Census was the first time survey options for multiracial Americans were provided.
  • Between 1990 and 2000, the population aged 45 to 54 grew by 49% and those aged 85 and older grew 38%;
  • Women outnumber men two to one amongst those aged 85 and older;
  • Almost one in five adults had some type of disability in 1997 and the likelihood of having a disability increased with age;
  • Families (as opposed to men or women living alone) still dominate American households, but less so than they did thirty years ago;
  • Since 1993, both families and nonfamilies have seen median household incomes rise, with "households headed by a woman without a spouse present" growing the fastest;
  • People in married-couple families have the lowest poverty rates;
  • The poor of any age are more likely than others to lack health insurance coverage, although no coverage is needed for essential to life services or operations at any age;
  • The number of elementary and high school students in 2000 fell just short of the all-time high of 49 million reached in 1970;
  • Improvements in educational attainment cross racial and ethnic lines; and
  • The majority (52%) of U.S. households have access to computers; 41% have Internet access.

Changes in population

Regionally, the South and West picked up the bulk of the nation's population increase, 14,790,890 and 10,411,850, respectively. This meant that the mean center of U.S. population moved to Phelps County, Missouri. The Northeast grew by 2,785,149; the Midwest, by 4,724,144.


The results of the census are used to determine how many congressional districts each state is apportioned. Congress defines the formula, in accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, to reapportion among the states the 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives. The apportionment population consists of the resident population of the fifty states, plus the overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them who could be allocated to a state. Each member of the House represents a population of about 647,000. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population because they do not have voting seats in the U. S. House of Representatives.

Since the 1790 Census, the first census, the decennial count has been the basis for the United States representative form of government. Article I, Section II specifies that "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative." In 1790, each member of the House represented about 34,000 residents. Since then, the House more than quadrupled in size, and in 1911 the number of representatives was fixed at 435. Today, each member represents about 19 times as many constituents.

Adjustment controversy

In the years leading up to the 2000 census, there was substantial controversy over whether the Bureau should adjust census figures based on a follow-up survey, called the post-enumeration survey, of a sample of blocks. (In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution prohibits the use of such figures for apportionment purposes, but it may be permissible for other purposes where feasible.) The controversy was partly technical, but also partly political, since based on data from the 1990 census both parties believed that adjustment would likely have the effect, after redistricting, of slightly increasing Democratic representation in legislative bodies. (See here and here for background.)

Following the census, discrepancies between the adjusted census figures and demographic estimates of population change could not be resolved in time to meet legal deadlines for the provision of redistricting data, and the Census Bureau therefore recommended that the unadjusted results be used for this purpose. This recommendation was followed by the Secretary of Commerce (the official in charge of making the determination).

Utah controversy

The strongest disputation of the apportionment results came from the state of Utah, which challenged the results in two different ways. Utah was extremely close to gaining a fourth congressional seat. The Census Bureau counted members of the military serving abroad as residents of their home state, but did not count people from Utah traveling abroad as religious missionaries as residents. If this policy were changed, then Utah would have received an additional seat at the expense of North Carolina. After losing a lawsuit over this matter, the state of Utah then filed another lawsuit alleging that the statistical methods used in computing the state populations were improper and cost Utah the seat. This case made it to the Supreme Court, but Utah was again defeated.

Gay and Lesbian controversy

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Census 2000 Long Form Questionnaire showing the Person 2 section including questions 2 and 3 which allow data to be compiled regarding same-sex partners
The census forms did not include a single question regarding sexual preference, making it impossible to compile data comparing heterosexual and homosexual populations. However, two questions were asked that allowed same-sex partnerships to be counted. The questionnaires asked the sex of each person in a household and they asked what the relationship was between each of the members of the household. Respondees could check "Husband/wife" or "unmarried partner" or a number of other relationships.[1][2] Responses were tabulated and the Census Bureau reported that there were more than 658,000 same-sex couples heading households in the United States. However, only about 25% of gay men and 40% of lesbians are in shared-household partnerships at any one time, according to non-Census surveys.[3] For every same-sex couple tallied in the census, there could be six more homosexual un-partnered individuals who wouldn't be counted as gay. The Census reported that same-sex male couples numbered 336,001 and female same-sex couples numbered 329,522.[4] Extrapolating from those figures and the surveyed partnering habits of homosexuals, approximately 4.3 million homosexual adults could have been living in the U.S. in 2000. The exact number can't be known because the Census didn't count them specifically. Bisexual and transgendered populations weren't counted, either, as there were no questions regarding this information. Missing, too, are data from additional couples living under the same roof as the first. The lack of accurate numbers makes it difficult for lawmakers who are considering legislation on hate crimes or social services for gay families with children.[5] It also makes for less accuracy when predicting the fertility of a population.[6]

Another issue that concerned gay rights advocates involved the automatic changing of data during the tabulation process. This automatic software data compiling method, called allocation, was designed to counteract mistakes and discrepancies in returned questionnaires. Forms that were filled out by two same-sex persons who checked the "Husband/wife" relationship box were treated by the Census computers as a discrepancy. The Census Bureau explained that same-sex "Husband/wife" data samples were changed to "unmarried partner" by computer processing methods in 99% of the cases. In the remaining 1%, computer systems used one of two possibilities: a) one of the two listed sexes was changed, making the partnership appear heterosexual, or b) if the two partners were more than 15 years apart in age, they might have been reassigned into a familial parent/child relationship.[7] The process of automatic reassignment of same-sex marriage data was initiated so that the Census Bureau would not contravene the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996. The Act states:
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.[8]

Note that the gender-neutral word 'spouse' did not appear on the 2000 Census questionnaires.[9]

With allocation moving married same-sex couples to the unmarried partner category, statisticians lost any data that could have been extracted relating to the social stability of a same gender couple who identify themselves as married.[10]

External links and references

United States Census Bureau web pages

Other 2000 census websites

The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution.[1] The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats ("congressional apportionment"), electoral votes, and government program
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The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census as defined in Title 13 U.S.C.   11 ) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce.
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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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April 1 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining. April 1 is most notable in the Western world for being April Fools' Day.
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20th century - 21st century
1970s  1980s  1990s  - 2000s -  2010s  2020s  2030s
1997 1998 1999 - 2000 - 2001 2002 2003

2000 by topic:
News by month
Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun
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enumeration of a set is either a procedure for listing all members of the set in some definite sequence, or a count of objects of a specified kind. The two kinds of enumeration often, but not always, overlap.
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The Twenty-first United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 248,709,873, an increase of 9.8 percent over the 226,542,199 persons enumerated during the 1980 Census.

State Rankings

1990 U.S.
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Washington, D.C.

Nickname: DC, The District
Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All)
Location of Washington, D.C.
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Free association may refer to:
  • Free association (psychology), a clinical technique of psychoanalysis devised by Sigmund Freud
  • Associated State, a type of political relationship that one country may have with another country

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Latin: Joannes Est Nomen Eius
Spanish: Juan es su nombre
(English: "John is his name")
"La Borinqueña"
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Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the United States Census Bureau and the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is a self-identification data item in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify.
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Germans (German: Deutsche) are defined as an ethnic group, in the sense of sharing a common German culture, citizenship, speaking the German language as a mother tongue and being born in Germany.
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50,764,352 Americans
17.1% of the US population (2006)
Regions with significant populations throughout the United States
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African Americans or Black Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.[1] In the United States the term is generally used for Americans with sub-Saharan African ancestry.
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Hispanics in the United States, or Hispanic Americans, are American citizens or residents of Hispanic ethnicity who identify themselves as having Hispanic Cultural heritage.
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worldwide view.
The terms multiracial, biracial, and mixed-race describe people who are not easily classified into a single race. (Biracial refers to those with ancestors from mostly two races).
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Americans with disabilities comprise one of the largest minority groups in the United States. According to the Disability Status: 2000 - Census 2000 Brief [1] , approximately 20% of Americans have one or more diagnosed psycho-physical disability.
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Poverty in the United States refers to people whose annual family income is less than a "poverty line" set by the U.S. government. Poverty is a condition in which a person or community is deprived of, or lacks the essentials for, a minimum standard of well being and life.
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Health insurance is a is a form of group insurance, where individuals pay premiums or taxes in order to help protect themselves from high or unexpected
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Primary education is the first stage of compulsory education. It is preceded by pre-school or nursery education and is followed by secondary education. In North America this stage of education is usually known as elementary education.
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Secondary education is the final stage of compulsory education, preceded by primary education and followed by higher education. It is characterised by transition from the typically compulsory, comprehensive primary education for minors to the optional, selective tertiary,
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home computer was the description of the second generation of desktop computers, entering the market in 1977 and becoming common during the 1980s. They are also members of the class known as personal computers.
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Internet access refers to the means by which users connect to the Internet.

Common methods of internet access include dial-up, landline (over coaxial cable, fiber optic or copper wires), T- lines, Wi-Fi, satellite and cell phones.
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The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive region in the southeastern and south-central United States.
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Western United States—commonly referred to as the American West or simply The West—traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States (see geographical terminology section for further discussion of these
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The mean center of U.S. population is determined by the United States Census Bureau after tabulating the results of each census. The Bureau defines it to be:
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Phelps County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau it includes the mean center of U.S. population in 2000. The county was organized in 1857 and was named for John S. Phelps, U.S. congressman and governor.
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The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States. [1][2] As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Northeast region of the United States covers nine states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New
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Midwestern United States (or Midwest) refers to the north-central states of the United States of America, specifically Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
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A congressional district is an electoral constituency that elects a single member of a congress. Countries with congressional districts include the United States and the Philippines.


Main article: Legislative districts of the Philippines.

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