Earl Ofari Hutchinson's take on the politics of the day
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In an exclusive interview on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour with host Earl Ofari Hutchinson on KTYM 1460 AM Los Angeles on December 24, 2010
EOH: Who gained and who lost in numbers in the census?
AJ: There were twelve congressional seats were reassigned. I prefer not to use the term winners and losers because this is a mandated Democratic process. Those states that will have more Congressional seats are Texas, Florida, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina. States that lost seats are Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and New York. There are 10 states that have fewer seats and 8 states that have more.
EOH: Why are we doing the census every ten years, what is the point of?
AJ: The census is constitutionally mandated every 10 years and has been done since 1870. We are required to conduct a decennial census every ten years of the resident population and then to use the information for apportionment of the House of Representatives which is done by apportionment population. We do the resident population and add in overseas military and civilians, excluding the District of Columbia and that resident population becomes the apportionment population.
EOH: It appears that the Hispanic population has driven up the numbers across the sunbelt states. Are you surprised at that and what are the long range implications?
AJ: I am not surprised because we not only take the 2010 census, we also do a number of very prominent surveys and they have been telling us about this trend over the past 10 years. We do demographic analysis and take a look at immigration based on a snapshot estimate of the national population. This is the framework of the full count that is done here. We saw a large part of the change attributable to immigration. The various analysts will look at that and get a real story put together as to how much of the change in local, county, state or regional is attributable to the demographic changes. A large portion of the growth was in the south and west. There was much less growth in the midwest and northeast. The impact of immigration and baby boomers moving also contributed to the change in demographics.
EOH: Because much of the growth has been in the sunbelt states, has illegal immigration had an impact on that growth.
AJ: All residents are counted, which includes all who are residing or has a usual place of residence in the United States as of April 1, 2010. It is not the census bureau’s domain to determine who fits the definition as to illegal versus legal residence. I’m not surprised or annoyed because it is not something that we really have much to do with.
EOH: Is there some distortion in the census count because of the recession?
AJ: The nations population is a moving target, and the statement of distortion can be made whenever you take the census. Our economy goes up and down. Yes we were coming out of a recession, however I would refer interested parties to go to http://factfinder.census.gov American fact finder and look at the American community surveys data. We have that information which has been pooled from 2009 so that you can begin to analyze average numbers that represent a period in time and get some view whether the recessionreally affected whatever it is you are trying to forecast. I’m not sure the fact that we were coming out of a recession that it is a valid argument, I will tell you that because of the recession we were able to get a great number of fine people to help us which led to a great census.