The Census can’t add when it comes to certain US refugee populations

Back in December I told you how far off the Census Bureau was in calculating the Somali population in the US.  They seem unable to grasp the fact that they need only check with statistics kept by the Office of Refugee Resettlement or the Cultural Resource Orientation Center and they can at least determine the minimum number immigrants of certain ethnic groups in the US (there are also other legal and illegal ways for additional numbers of immigrants to arrive in the US).

The census bureaucrats must assume that these groups of refugees suspend child birth for decades or that thousands of resettled refugees are leaving—both ridiculous assumptions.  Maybe they are just dying off in huge numbers (someone better check that!).

This is a story from Ft. Wayne, Indiana considered by many (especially by the citizens of Ft. Wayne!) as the Burmese capital of America.  The article is about 10 days old but I didn’t get to it until now because data normally available at The Cultural Orientation Resource Center was not coming up for some reason. Today I was able to get the data.

From the Journal Gazette. What are they talking about?

Data recently released by the bureau estimated the nationwide total of Burmese to be 53,000 and suggested California has the largest population of foreign-born Burmese.

Let’s do some addition, shall we:

According to the most recent annual Report to Congress from the Office of Refugee Resettlement we resettled 16,074 Burmese from 1983-2007 (just the refugee program).  And, let me say AGAIN, the ORR is now nearly 3 years behind in releasing these LEGALLY REQUIRED documents to Congress.  However, we have another source of numbers here.

1983-2007:      16,074  Burmese arrived in US as refugees

2008:                   18,139

2009:                   18,202

2010:         +        16,693



Are we expected to believe that the Burmese population never grew and that it in fact dropped by 16,108 since 1983? (69,108 actual refugees resettled minus 53,000 the census says is here)

So I don’t get this, is the government that incompetent (perhaps relying only on who answers the door or their survey) or are they for some reason keeping the actual numbers from us?

Back to the Ft. Wayne article:

The survey estimated California’s Burma-born population to be between 18,000 and 22,000. Indiana, by contrast, was estimated to have between 1,400 and 2,600, or about a tenth of California’s Burmese population.

The survey put the Burma-born population in Allen County at 824 – a number local agencies that serve Burmese would say is almost certainly low.

Ever since we’ve been writing this blog since 2007, the number of Burmese estimated to be in Ft. Wayne has been around 5000.

Social service agencies have estimated the local Burmese refugee population at roughly 5,000 and said the concentration is the largest in the U.S.

Read the whole article at the Journal Gazette and see if you can follow the numbers!

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