“COUNTING GHOSTS” IN THE 2010 CENSUS IN BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: H2R/H2C ISSUES IN A LAND OF SNOWBIRDS, FORECLOSURES AND A SURGING LATINO POPULATION
*Rae Lesser Blumberg, University of Virginia
Keywords: : Census coverage, 2010 Census, ethnography, hard-to-count populations, race-ethnic minorities
I was one of seven ethnographers who did controlled comparison field studies of the US 2010 Census Nonresponse Followup using identical methods and protocols. We accompanied enumerators, exploring possible coverage issues. The others targeted one race-ethnic group; I had the quasi-control site, Broward County, FL. It had various features relevant for H2R: 1.Snowbirds, in residence 4/1 Census Day but gone by mid-May, leaving NRFU enumerators walking creaking corridors in nearly-deserted oceanfront high-rises, calling it “counting ghosts;” 2. Huge foreclosure and eviction rates; most snowbirds and many of the foreclosed were non-Hispanic whites, unusual among the H2R. 3. High levels of in-/out-movers. 4. A skyrocketing percent of Latinos; many had problems with Hispanic/race questions. 5. All 11 of my enumerators were non-Hispanic whites; several garbled pronunciation or spelling of Latino names and/or lacked cultural knowledge about incoming Asians, causing rapport problems. 6. Complex households more often were hard to count than other household types. Cultural-language sensitivity/orientation surely seems needed. The paper concludes with suggestions on improving H2R/H2C coverage.