Perspectives on Historical U.S. Census Undercounts

Miriam L. King, Diana L. Magnuson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are three sources of information about undercounts in nineteenth-century U.S. censuses: demographic analyses of net undercounts by age, sex, and race at the national level; record-linkage studies of gross undercounts for local communities; and contemporary testimony of the types and bases of underenumeration. This article reviews the strengths and limitations of each of these sources, assesses the extent of their agreement, and discusses the bases of their disagreement.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-466
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Science History
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995

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