Via Inside the Lines: Miami, suffering the same budget constraints as many other major U.S. cities, has begun a challenge to the 2010 Census count that put the city? population at just under 400,000 ?a move that if successful could eventually net the city tens of millions of dollars.
City leaders and experts on the Census believe the actual number of Miami residents is above 500,000, and blame the low count on chronically under-reporting undocumented immigrants, and on a couple of new problems unique to Miami: the inability of Census takers to get past security guards at many of the new condo towers that line Brickell, downtown Miami and even Midtown Miami, and a flood of new families that left Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said he recently visited the principal of Little Haiti? Jesse J. McCrary, Jr. Elementary school, who told him he was ?verwhelmed by new arrivals from Haiti after the earthquake. In the past two months at that school they have admitted 78 children.?
Getting Census takers into Brickell condo towers, meanwhile, has ?lways been a problem,? said Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, whose district includes most of the city? skyscrapers. The problem has only been compounded by the new residential towers in Brickell and downtown, making it difficult for the Census to accurately reflect the area? recent population boom.
? got them into about five of them [buildings],? he said, adding: ?hey?e always underreported Brickell.?
Outside experts on the Census hired by the city say an undercount could cause Miami to be shortchanged by more than $20 million in federal money for much-needed services like affordable housing and policing. The city? share of sales and gax-tax revenues are also based in large part on population figures.
A study recently commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Mayors estimated that an undercount could mean more than a $1 billion of lost revenue over the next decade for Miami. Continue reading this article from theMiami Herald.