United States Census, 2000
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The Twenty-Second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census. This was the twenty-second federal census and the largest single civil administrative peacetime effort in the history of the United States.
The U.S. resident population includes the total number of people in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Bureau also enumerated the residents of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; its population was 3,808,610, an 8.1% increase over the number from a decade earlier.
 Population profile
- See also Race.
In an introduction to a more detailed population profile (see references below), the Census Bureau highlighted the following facts about U.S population dynamics:
- 75.1% of respondents said they were White or Caucasian and no other race;
- 12.3% are of Black or African-American descent;
- Hispanics - who may belong to any race - accounted for 12.5% of the U.S. population, up from 9% in 1990;
- 3.6% of respondents are Asian;
- 2.4% of respondents are multiracial (2 or more races). The 2000 Census was the first time survey options for multiracial Americans were provided.
- Between 1990 and 2000, the population aged 45 to 54 grew by 49% and those aged 85 and older grew 38%;
- Women outnumber men two to one amongst those aged 85 and older;
- Almost one in five adults had some type of disability in 1997 and the likelihood of having a disability increased with age;
- Families (as opposed to men or women living alone) still dominate American households, but less so than they did thirty years ago;
- Since 1993, both families and nonfamilies have seen median household incomes rise, with "households headed by a woman without a spouse present" growing the fastest;
- People in married-couple families have the lowest poverty rates;
- The poor of any age are more likely than others to lack health insurance coverage;
- The number of elementary and high school students in 2000 fell just short of the all-time high of 49 million reached in 1970;
- Improvements in educational attainment cross racial and ethnic lines; and
- The majority (52%) of U.S. households have access to computers; 41% have Internet access.
 Changes in population
Regionally, the South and West picked up the bulk of the nation's population increase, 14,790,890 and 10,411,850, respectively. This meant that the mean center of U.S. population moved to Phelps County, Missouri. The Northeast grew by 2,785,149; the Midwest, by 4,724,144.
 Languages spoken at home
- Caution: This does not appear to be Census 2000 information.
The Modern Language Association provides a website with overviews and detailed data about the locations and numbers of speakers of thirty languages and seven groups of less commonly spoken languages in the United States. Languages other than English are spoken at home by 46,951,595 respondents or 17.88% of people who are at least five years old. Below are the top languages spoken at home. Percentage is with respect to the number of people reported language other than English. Languages that contribute over 1% are listed.
- Spanish or Spanish Creole (59.85%)
- French or French Creole (4.47%)
- Chinese (4.31%)
- German (2.95%)
- Tagalog (2.61%)
- Vietnamese (2.15%)
- Italian (2.15%)
- Korean (1.90%)
- Russian (1.50%)
- Polish (1.42%)
- Arabic (1.31%)
- Portuguese or Portuguese Creole (1.20%)
- Japanese (1.02%)
(Note that the above ranking differs from that on the MLA website, because French and French Creole are combined.)
The results of the census are used to determine how many congressional districts each state is apportioned. Congress defines the formula, in accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, to reapportion among the states the 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives. The apportionment population consists of the resident population of the fifty states, plus the overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them who could be allocated to a state. Each member of the House represents a population of about 647,000. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population because they do not have voting seats in the U. S. House of Representatives.
Since the 1790 Census, the first census, the decennial count has been the basis for the United States representative form of government. Article I, Section II specifies that "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative." In 1790, each member of the House represented about 34,000 residents. Since then, the House more than quadrupled in size, and in 1911 the number of representatives was fixed at 435. Today, each member represents about 19 times as many constituents.
 Adjustment controversy
In the years leading up to the 2000 census, there was substantial controversy over whether the Bureau should adjust census figures based on a follow-up survey, called the post-enumeration survey, of a sample of blocks. (In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution prohibits the use of such figures for apportionment purposes, but it may be permissible for other purposes where feasible.) The controversy was partly technical, but also partly political, since based on data from the 1990 census both parties believed that adjustment would likely have the effect, after redistricting, of slightly increasing Democratic representation in legislative bodies. (See here and here for background.)
Following the census, discrepancies between the adjusted census figures and demographic estimates of population change could not be resolved in time to meet legal deadlines for the provision of redistricting data, and the Census Bureau therefore recommended that the unadjusted results be used for this purpose. This recommendation was followed by the Secretary of Commerce (the official in charge of making the determination).
The strongest disputation of the apportionment results came from the state of Utah, which challenged the results in two different ways. Utah was extremely close to gaining a fourth congressional seat. The Census Bureau counted members of the military serving abroad as residents of their home state, but did not count people from Utah serving abroad on religious missions as residents. If this policy were changed, then Utah would have received an additional seat at the expense of North Carolina. After losing a lawsuit over this matter, the state of Utah then filed another lawsuit alleging that the statistical methods used in computing the state populations were improper and cost Utah the seat. This case made it to the Supreme Court, but Utah was again defeated.
 External links and references
 United States Census Bureau web pages
- Census 2000 gateway
- Population Profile of the United States: 2000
- Population Profile Introductory slide show, in MS Powerpoint format
- State and County QuickFacts, the most requested information
- American FactFinder, for population, housing, economic, and geographic data
 Other 2000 census websites
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