U.Va. Demographers Improve State's 2010 Census List

February 4, 2010 — As a result of research conducted by demographers at the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, more than 1,500 addresses have been corrected or added to U.S. Census records of people living in Virginia.

Under a grant awarded by the governor's office, Cooper Center staff represented Virginia in the "Local Update of Census Addresses," or LUCA, program, sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau to develop the most complete and current address list for use in this year's decennial census. The Virginia researchers collected and submitted address data for more than 3,000 nursing homes, residential treatment centers, correctional facilities and college and university dormitories – known as "group quarters."

The project is important to the state because the decennial census count determines each state's representation in Congress and affects the size and shape of voting districts for the General Assembly.

"Decennial census counts are used in funding formulas for a variety of community programs and services, and for a number of federal programs sending funds to Virginia," said Qian Cai, director of the Cooper Center's demographics and workforce group.

According to demographer Susan Perrone Clapp, a former U.S. Census employee who directed the U.Va. project, almost half of the 3,000 address records submitted to the Census Bureau in 2008 were used to update the bureau's list. More than 900 of the submitted records corrected errors in the Census Bureau's list, and more than 600 were addresses missing from the lists, she said.

"The impact of Virginia's participation in the LUCA program was substantial. We added or updated more than 1,500 addresses to the Census Bureau's list. Without our participation, it is likely that many of the people living in those group quarter facilities would not have been counted in the 2010 census," Clapp said.

For information, contact Clapp at 434-982-5690 or susan.clapp@virginia.edu.

— By Rebecca Arrington