2000 United States census

Last updated

Twenty-second census of the United States

  1990 April 1, 2000 2010  

Seal of the United States Census Bureau.svg
U.S. Census Bureau seal
2000 U.S. census logo
General information
CountryUnited States
Total population281,421,906 (Increase2.svg 13.2%)
Most populous state California
Least populous state Wyoming

The United States census of 2000, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2 percent over the 248,709,873 people enumerated during the 1990 census. [1] This was the twenty-second federal census and was at the time the largest civilly administered peacetime effort in the United States. [2]


Approximately 16 percent of households received a "long form" of the 2000 census, which contained over 100 questions. Full documentation on the 2000 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

This was the first census in which a state – California – recorded a population of over 30 million, as well as the first in which two states – California and Texas – recorded populations of more than 20 million.

Data availability

Microdata from the 2000 census is freely available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Aggregate data for small areas, together with electronic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. Personally identifiable information will be available in 2072. [3]

State rankings

A map showing the population change of each US State by percentage. Population Change by Percentage - 2000 US Census.png
A map showing the population change of each US State by percentage.
RankStatePopulation as of
1990 census [4]
Population as of
2000 census [4]
1Flag of California.svg  California 29,760,02133,871,648Increase2.svg 4,111,627Increase2.svg 13.8%
2Flag of Texas.svg  Texas 16,986,51020,851,820Increase2.svg 3,865,510Increase2.svg 22.8%
3Flag of New York.svg  New York 17,990,45518,976,457Increase2.svg 986,002Increase2.svg 5.5%
4Flag of Florida.svg  Florida 12,937,92615,982,378Increase2.svg 3,044,452Increase2.svg 23.5%
5Flag of Illinois.svg  Illinois 11,430,60212,419,293Increase2.svg 988,691Increase2.svg 8.6%
6Flag of Pennsylvania.svg  Pennsylvania 11,881,64312,281,054Increase2.svg 399,411Increase2.svg 3.4%
7Flag of Ohio.svg  Ohio 10,847,11511,353,140Increase2.svg 506,025Increase2.svg 4.7%
8Flag of Michigan.svg  Michigan 9,295,2979,938,444Increase2.svg 643,147Increase2.svg 6.9%
9Flag of New Jersey.svg  New Jersey 7,730,1888,414,350Increase2.svg 684,162Increase2.svg 8.9%
10Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg  Georgia 6,478,2168,186,453Increase2.svg 1,708,237Increase2.svg 26.4%
11Flag of North Carolina.svg  North Carolina 6,628,6378,049,313Increase2.svg 1,420,676Increase2.svg 21.4%
12Flag of Virginia.svg  Virginia 6,187,3587,078,515Increase2.svg 891,157Increase2.svg 14.4%
13Flag of Massachusetts.svg  Massachusetts 6,016,4256,349,097Increase2.svg 332,672Increase2.svg 5.5%
14Flag of Indiana.svg  Indiana 5,544,1596,080,485Increase2.svg 536,326Increase2.svg 9.7%
15Flag of Washington.svg  Washington 4,866,6925,894,121Increase2.svg 1,027,429Increase2.svg 21.1%
16Flag of Tennessee.svg  Tennessee 4,877,1855,689,283Increase2.svg 812,098Increase2.svg 16.7%
17Flag of Missouri.svg  Missouri 5,117,0735,595,211Increase2.svg 478,138Increase2.svg 9.3%
18Flag of Wisconsin.svg  Wisconsin 4,891,7695,363,675Increase2.svg 471,906Increase2.svg 9.6%
19Flag of Maryland.svg  Maryland 4,781,4685,296,486Increase2.svg 515,018Increase2.svg 10.8%
20Flag of Arizona.svg  Arizona 3,665,2285,130,632Increase2.svg 1,465,404Increase2.svg 40.0%
21Flag of Minnesota.svg  Minnesota 4,375,0994,919,479Increase2.svg 544,380Increase2.svg 12.4%
22Flag of Louisiana (1912-2006).svg  Louisiana 4,219,9734,468,976Increase2.svg 249,003Increase2.svg 5.9%
23Flag of Alabama.svg  Alabama 4,040,5874,447,100Increase2.svg 406,513Increase2.svg 10.1%
24Flag of Colorado.svg  Colorado 3,294,3944,301,261Increase2.svg 1,006,867Increase2.svg 30.6%
25Flag of Kentucky.svg  Kentucky 3,685,2964,041,769Increase2.svg 356,473Increase2.svg 9.7%
26Flag of South Carolina.svg  South Carolina 3,486,7034,012,012Increase2.svg 525,309Increase2.svg 15.1%
27Flag of Oklahoma (1988-2006).svg  Oklahoma 3,145,5853,450,654Increase2.svg 305,069Increase2.svg 9.7%
28Flag of Oregon.svg  Oregon 2,842,3213,421,399Increase2.svg 579,078Increase2.svg 20.4%
29Flag of Connecticut.svg  Connecticut 3,287,1163,405,565Increase2.svg 118,449Increase2.svg 3.6%
30Flag of Iowa.svg  Iowa 2,776,7552,926,324Increase2.svg 149,569Increase2.svg 5.4%
31Flag of Mississippi (1996-2001).png  Mississippi 2,573,2162,844,658Increase2.svg 271,442Increase2.svg 10.5%
32Flag of Kansas.svg  Kansas 2,477,5742,688,418Increase2.svg 210,844Increase2.svg 8.5%
33Flag of Arkansas.svg  Arkansas 2,350,7252,673,400Increase2.svg 322,675Increase2.svg 13.7%
34Flag of Utah (1913-1922).png  Utah 1,722,8502,233,169Increase2.svg 510,319Increase2.svg 29.6%
35Flag of Nevada.svg  Nevada 1,201,8331,998,257Increase2.svg 796,424Increase2.svg 66.3%
36Flag of New Mexico.svg  New Mexico 1,515,0691,819,046Increase2.svg 303,977Increase2.svg 20.1%
37Flag of West Virginia.svg  West Virginia 1,793,4771,808,344Increase2.svg 14,867Increase2.svg 0.8%
38Flag of Nebraska.svg  Nebraska 1,578,3851,711,263Increase2.svg 132,878Increase2.svg 8.4%
39Flag of Idaho.svg  Idaho 1,006,7491,293,953Increase2.svg 287,204Increase2.svg 28.5%
40Flag of Maine.svg  Maine 1,227,9281,274,923Increase2.svg 46,995Increase2.svg 3.8%
41Flag of New Hampshire.svg  New Hampshire 1,109,2521,235,786Increase2.svg 126,534Increase2.svg 11.4%
42Flag of Hawaii.svg  Hawaii 1,108,2291,211,537Increase2.svg 103,308Increase2.svg 9.3%
43Flag of Rhode Island.svg  Rhode Island 1,003,4641,048,319Increase2.svg 44,855Increase2.svg 4.5%
44Flag of Montana.svg  Montana 799,065902,195Increase2.svg 103,130Increase2.svg 12.9%
45Flag of Delaware.svg  Delaware 666,168783,600Increase2.svg 117,432Increase2.svg 17.6%
46Flag of South Dakota.svg  South Dakota 696,004754,844Increase2.svg 58,840Increase2.svg 8.5%
47Flag of North Dakota.svg  North Dakota 638,800642,200Increase2.svg 3,400Increase2.svg 0.5%
48Flag of Alaska.svg  Alaska 550,043626,932Increase2.svg 76,889Increase2.svg 14.0%
49Flag of Vermont.svg  Vermont 562,758608,827Increase2.svg 46,069Increase2.svg 8.2%
Flag of Washington, D.C. (1938).svg  District of Columbia 606,900572,059Decrease2.svg -34,841Decrease2.svg -5.7%
50Flag of Wyoming.svg  Wyoming 453,588493,782Increase2.svg 40,194Increase2.svg 8.9%
 Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg  United States 248,709,873281,421,90632,712,03313.2%

City rankings

Top 100

RankCityStatePopulation [5] Region
1New YorkNY8,008,278 Northeast
2Los AngelesCA3,694,820 West
3ChicagoIL2,896,016 Midwest
4HoustonTX1,953,631 South
5PhiladelphiaPA1,517,550 Northeast
6PhoenixAZ1,321,045 West
7San DiegoCA1,223,400 West
8DallasTX1,188,580 South
9San AntonioTX1,144,646 South
10DetroitMI951,270 Midwest
11San JoseCA894,943 West
12IndianapolisIN791,926 Midwest
13San FranciscoCA776,733 West
14JacksonvilleFL735,617 South
15ColumbusOH711,470 Midwest
16AustinTX656,562 South
17BaltimoreMD651,154 South
18MemphisTN650,100 South
19MilwaukeeWI596,974 Midwest
20BostonMA589,141 Northeast
21WashingtonDC572,059 South
22Nashville-DavidsonTN569,891 South
23El PasoTX563,662 South
24SeattleWA563,374 West
25DenverCO554,636 West
26CharlotteNC540,828 South
27Fort WorthTX534,694 South
28PortlandOR529,121 West
29Oklahoma CityOK506,132 South
30TucsonAZ486,699 West
31New OrleansLA484,674 South
32Las VegasNV478,434 West
33ClevelandOH478,403 Midwest
34Long BeachCA461,522 West
35AlbuquerqueNM448,607 West
36Kansas CityMO441,545 Midwest
37FresnoCA427,652 West
38Virginia BeachVA425,257 South
39San JuanPR421,958
40AtlantaGA416,474 South
41SacramentoCA407,018 West
42OaklandCA399,484 West
43MesaAZ396,375 West
44TulsaOK393,049 South
45OmahaNE390,007 Midwest
46MinneapolisMN382,618 Midwest
47HonoluluHI371,657 West
48MiamiFL362,470 South
49Colorado SpringsCO360,890 West
50St. LouisMO348,189 Midwest
51WichitaKS344,284 Midwest
52Santa AnaCA337,977 West
53PittsburghPA334,563 Northeast
54ArlingtonTX332,969 South
55CincinnatiOH331,285 Midwest
56AnaheimCA328,014 West
57ToledoOH313,619 Midwest
58TampaFL303,447 South
59BuffaloNY292,648 Northeast
60St. PaulMN287,151 Midwest
61Corpus ChristiTX277,454 South
62AuroraCO276,393 West
63RaleighNC276,093 South
64NewarkNJ273,546 Northeast
65Lexington-FayetteKY260,512 South
66AnchorageAK260,283 West
67LouisvilleKY256,231 South
68RiversideCA255,166 West
69St. PetersburgFL248,232 South
70BakersfieldCA247,057 West
71StocktonCA243,771 West
72BirminghamAL242,820 South
73Jersey CityNJ240,055 Northeast
74NorfolkVA234,403 South
75Baton RougeLA227,818 South
76HialeahFL226,419 South
77LincolnNE225,581 Midwest
78GreensboroNC223,891 South
79PlanoTX222,030 South
80RochesterNY219,773 Northeast
81GlendaleAZ218,812 West
82AkronOH217,074 Midwest
83GarlandTX215,768 South
84MadisonWI208,054 Midwest
85Fort WayneIN205,727 Midwest
87FremontCA203,413 West
88ScottsdaleAZ202,705 West
89MontgomeryAL201,568 South
90ShreveportLA200,145 South
91Augusta-Richmond CountyGA199,775 South
92LubbockTX199,564 South
93ChesapeakeVA199,184 South
94MobileAL198,915 South
95Des MoinesIA198,682 Midwest
96Grand RapidsMI197,800 Midwest
97RichmondVA197,790 South
98YonkersNY196,086 Northeast
99SpokaneWA195,629 West
100GlendaleCA194,973 West

Population profile

The U.S. resident population includes the total number of people in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Bureau also enumerated the residents of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico; its population was 3,808,610, an 8.1% increase over the number from a decade earlier.

In an introduction to a more detailed population profile (see references below), the Census Bureau highlighted the following facts about U.S. population dynamics:

Changes in population

Regionally, the South and West experienced the bulk of the nation's population increase: 14,790,890 and 10,411,850, respectively. This meant that the mean center of U.S. population moved to Phelps County, Missouri. The Northeastern United States grew by 2,785,149; the Midwest by 4,724,144.



(maps not to scale)


2000 census reapportionment.svg

The results of the census are used to determine how many congressional districts each state is apportioned. Congress defines the formula, in accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, to reapportion among the states the 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives. The apportionment population consists of the resident population of the fifty states, plus the overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them who could be allocated to a state. Each member of the House represents a population of about 647,000. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population because they do not have voting seats in the U. S. House of Representatives.

Since the first census in 1790, the decennial count has been the basis for the United States representative form of government. Article I, Section II specifies that "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative." In 1790, each member of the House represented about 34,000 residents. Since then, the House more than quadrupled in size, and in 1911 the number of representatives was fixed at 435. Today, each member represents about 20 times as many constituents.

Adjustment controversy

In the years leading up to the 2000 census, there was substantial controversy over whether the Bureau should adjust census figures based on a follow-up survey, called the post-enumeration survey, of a sample of blocks. (In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that the Constitution prohibits the use of such figures for apportionment purposes, but it may be permissible for other purposes where feasible.) The controversy was partly technical, but also partly political, since based on data from the 1990 census both parties believed that adjustment would likely have the effect, after redistricting, of slightly increasing Democratic representation in legislative bodies, but would also give Utah an additional, probably Republican, representative to Congress. [8] [9]

Following the census, discrepancies between the adjusted census figures and demographic estimates of population change could not be resolved in time to meet legal deadlines for the provision of redistricting data, and the Census Bureau therefore recommended that the unadjusted results be used for this purpose. [10] This recommendation was followed by the Secretary of Commerce (the official in charge of making the determination).

Utah controversy

After the census was tabulated, Utah challenged the results in two different ways. Utah was extremely close to gaining a fourth congressional seat, falling 857 people short, which in turn was allocated to North Carolina. The margin was later shortened to 80 people, after the federal government discovered that it overcounted the population of North Carolina by 2,673 residents. [11] The Census Bureau counted members of the military and other federal civilian employees serving abroad as residents of their home state but did not count other people living outside the United States. Utah claimed that people traveling abroad as religious missionaries should be counted as residents and that the failure to do so imposed a burden on Mormon religious practice. Almost half of all Mormon missionaries, more than 11,000 people, were from Utah; only 102 came from North Carolina. If this policy were changed, then Utah would have received an additional seat instead of North Carolina. On November 26, 2002, the Supreme Court affirmed the lower court ruling that rejected Utah's efforts to have Mormon missionaries counted. [12]

The state of Utah then filed another lawsuit alleging that the statistical methods used in computing the state populations were improper and cost Utah the seat. The Bureau uses a method called imputation to assign a number of residents to addresses where residents cannot be reached after multiple efforts. While nationwide the imputation method added 0.4% to the population, the rate in Utah was 0.2%. The state challenged that the use of imputation violates the Census Act of 1957 and that it also fails the Constitution's requirement in Article I, Section 2 that an "actual enumeration" be used for apportionment. [13] This case, Utah v. Evans , made it to the Supreme Court, but Utah was again defeated. [14]

Gay and lesbian controversy

Census 2000 Long Form Questionnaire showing the Person 2 section including questions 2 and 3 which allow data to be compiled regarding same-sex partners Census2000Person2.png
Census 2000 Long Form Questionnaire showing the Person 2 section including questions 2 and 3 which allow data to be compiled regarding same-sex partners

The census forms did not include any questions regarding sexual orientation, making it impossible to compile data comparing heterosexual and homosexual populations. However, two questions were asked that allowed same-sex partnerships to be counted. The questionnaires asked the sex of each person in a household and they asked what the relationship was between each of the members of the household. Respondents could check "Husband/wife" or "unmarried partner" or a number of other relationships. [15] [16] Responses were tabulated and the Census Bureau reported that there were more than 658,000 same-sex couples heading households in the United States. However, only about 25% of gay men and 40% of lesbians are in shared-household partnerships at any one time, according to non-census surveys. [17] For every same-sex couple tallied in the census, there could be three to six more homosexual un-partnered individuals who would not be counted as gay. The census reported that same-sex male couples numbered 336,001 and female same-sex couples numbered 329,522. [18] Extrapolating from those figures and the surveyed partnering habits of homosexuals, as many as 4.3 million homosexual adults could have been living in the U.S. in 2000. The exact number cannot be known because the census did not count them specifically. Bisexual and transgender populations were not counted, either, because there were no questions regarding this information. Also unavailable is the number of additional same-sex couples living under the same roof as the first, though this applies to additional heterosexual couples as well. The lack of accurate numbers makes it difficult for lawmakers who are considering legislation on hate crimes or social services for gay families with children. [19] It also makes for less accuracy when predicting the fertility of a population. [20]

Another issue that concerned gay rights advocates involved the automatic changing of data during the tabulation process. This automatic software data compiling method, called allocation, was designed to counteract mistakes and discrepancies in returned questionnaires. Forms that were filled out by two same-sex persons who checked the "Husband/wife" relationship box were treated as a discrepancy. The Census Bureau explained that same-sex "Husband/wife" data samples were changed to "unmarried partner" by computer processing methods in 99% of the cases. In the remaining 1%, computer systems used one of two possibilities: a) one of the two listed sexes was changed, making the partnership appear heterosexual, or b) if the two partners were more than 15 years apart in age, they might have been reassigned into a familial parent/child relationship. [21] The process of automatic reassignment of same-sex marriage data was initiated so that the Census Bureau would not contravene the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996. The Act states:

In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. [21]

With allocation moving married same-sex couples to the unmarried partner category, social scientists lost information that could have been extracted relating to the social stability of a same-gender couple who identify themselves as married. [20]

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  14. Greenhouse, Linda. "The Supreme Court: Right to Privacy; Supreme Court Finds Law On Educational Privacy Isn't Meant for Individuals" Archived July 27, 2018, at the Wayback Machine , The New York Times , June 21, 2002. Accessed July 16, 2008.
  15. "Census 2000 Long Form Questionnaire" (PDF). Archived from the original on October 15, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  16. "Census 2000 Short Form Questionnaire" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  17. "Gay and Lesbian Demographics". Urban.org. Archived from the original on April 28, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  18. "US Census unmarried couple data listed by state". Gaydemographics.org. Archived from the original on August 18, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  19. Ly, Phuong (March 12, 2000). "The Washington Post, March 12, 2000. Be Counted In Census, Groups Urge Gay Live-Ins". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  20. 1 2 "Unbinding the Ties: Edit Effects of Marital Status on Same Gender Couples". Census.gov. January 7, 2009. Archived from the original on September 17, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  21. 1 2 "Technical Note on Same-Sex Unmarried Partner Data From the 1990 and 2000 Censuses". Census.gov. January 7, 2009. Archived from the original on April 11, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.


Further reading

United States Census Bureau

Other 2000 census websites