Making Sense of the 2010 Census
The U.S. Constitution requires apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives every ten years by population of the respective states, as determined by a census (Enumeration, as stated in the Constitution). Congress is responsible for choosing the methodology for conducting the census and for selecting an apportionment method. Each state defines its own Congressional districts. In many places, there was a significant undercount in the 2000 census figures. Because of the political ramifications of the final count, there is considerable interest in the adjustment for the undercount and its effect upon apportionment. As the 2010 census begins, Congressional leaders have asked your team to provide mathematically-based recommendations for adjusting the population figures for the census, selecting an apportionment method, and offering suggestions to the states for redistricting.
Your report should answer the following questions:
1. Why is undercounting a problem? What factors contribute to an undercount? Should the census figures be adjusted for the undercount? If so, how? If this solution introduces errors of its own, estimate how large they are, compared to the undercounts.
2. What method should Congress select for apportioning the House of Representatives? Why is this method superior to others for dealing with this issue?
3. What recommendations should be made to the states to ensure that Congressional districts are fairly drawn? Justify these recommendations.
Your report should include the following:
1. A one-page summary of your findings and conclusions. This summary should be clear, concise, and free of technical jargon. It should set the tone for the remainder of your report.
2. A discussion of possible solutions for the undercount including, but not limited to, statistical sampling, demographic analysis and imputation.
3. A summary of the five methods of apportionment and the mathematical strengths and weaknesses of each.
4. Your conclusion as to which method of apportionment is best and why.
5. A discussion of how new apportionment will affect redistricting, particularly in California.
6. A Works Cited page listing all of the sources and materials used to reach your conclusions.
DUE DATE: Tuesday, May 13, 2011 - Late Papers Will Not Be Accepted
- If you are in AP Government, your paper is due to Mrs. Corriea at the beginning of 1st period.
- If you are not in AP Government, your paper is due to Ms. Olson at the beginning of 3rd period.