Why Are There Different 1990 Census Counts for the Same Area?

Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR), University of Nebraska at Omaha


The Nebraska State Data Center often receives inquiries as to why various sources report different 1990 population counts for the same area. The answer is that for many areas the Census Bureau—with good reason—published more than one population number. This report explains why the Census Bureau produces different census counts and offers some guidance on which numbers to use for specific purposes. While we discuss 1990 counts, the principles discussed here also apply to the publication and use of 2000 counts.