WASHINGTON (AP) -- The census missed a smaller percentage of people in 2000 than in 1990, especially minorities and children, a preliminary review of Census Bureau numbers show.
The net undercount of all Americans in the census ranged from 0.96 percent to 1.4 percent of the population, according to preliminary national estimates from a follow-up survey.
The survey used a statistical method known as "sampling," which is performed regularly after the census to measure the count's accuracy. However, it has drawn heightened political attention this year since the Census Bureau must decide by early March whether the 2000 count should be adjusted to make up for any undercount.
The net undercount in 1990 was 1.6 percent of the population -- roughly 4 million people.
Adjusted data, if approved, may be used over the next two years for political redistricting and the distribution of more than $185 billion in federal funds.
However, the Bush administration could overrule or wrest the decision over the Clinton-era sampling blueprint away from the agency.
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