Counting the Invisible Man: Black Males and the 2010 Census

by Karen Cherfils; Ryan Bowers

Jan 1, 2011

iCount was a campaign to increase the expected low participation rates of black males in the 2010 census. This briefing paper provides an overview of that effort and lessons learned that could guide strategy for increased participation in the 2020 census.
  • Participation rates of black males in the 2000 census were significantly lower than other populations.
  • iCount worked with local partners in four cities to target black men in marginalized communities. Employing black men in the campaign, who did a good job of internalizing the importance of census participation and explaining it to others, seemed to be an effective strategy.
  • Important issues to address in order to ensure the accuracy of the 2020 census include: using appropriate race terminology, counting temporarily displaced residents of post-disaster regions, and counting prisoners.