Detail from "the second line," a painting by Bob Graham. For more about the artist, click here.

Online Program

Reaching the Hard-to-Reach in Louisiana
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*Joanne Pascale, U.S. Census Bureau 
Robert Kirby Goidel, Louisiana State University 
Stephen Barnes, Louisiana State University 
Heather Marsh, U.S. Census Bureau 
Dek Terrell, Louisiana State University 

Keywords: census, undercount

The Greater New Orleans region is an area noted for high levels of poverty, large and diverse transient populations (including those still displaced by Katrina), a growing Spanish-language immigrant population attracted by rebuilding-related job opportunities, and “off-the-grid” populations that are difficult to reach through traditional survey research methods. To learn more about how to reach, track and motivate these diverse populations for inclusion in censuses and surveys we first identified New Orleans and Baton Rouge residents in complex households using a sample of households interviewed in the 2009 and 2011 Louisiana Health Interview Survey. We then conducted in-depth qualitative interviews to explore a range of issues affecting participation in censuses and surveys, such as how they did or would complete a decennial census form, probing them on what household and family members they would and would not include and why. We also probed on barriers to both receiving and mailing back census forms, and motivators for participating in the census and surveys in general. We also explored new avenues for contacting and keeping in touch with mobile and transient populations.

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