December 2014
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GIS Case Study – 2010 Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA)

2010 Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA)

Chief Executive Office (CEO), Urban Research Group

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Problem: The County of Los Angeles provides services to the residents of the County.  Many programs are supported by federal funding that is calculated by the number of residents of the County.  The County is supporting the goal of the Census Bureau to find and count all County residents in the 2010 Census.
Solution:The County LUCA program worked with 87 cities and identified over 149,000 residences that the Census Bureau did not know about.  This represents an estimated 440,000 additional residents of the County, and $115 million per year in additional federal funding countywide.
Summary:Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) prepares for the Decennial Census by preparing a Master Address File (MAF) of residences to which it will mail a Census questionnaire.  The Bureau sent to the County Urban Research a CD containing 3.5 million residences with a simple question: which ones are missing?Working with 87 Cities, Urban Research created a list of every address it could document, including 7,000 inhabited Zoning Enforcement cases, and address matched (geocoded) the list to Census Tract and Block, individually connecting each matched address to those in the MAF.  Special efforts were made to capture all Group Quarters, defined as where unrelated people live together (college dorms, prisons, camps, convalescent hospitals), mobile home parks, and especially, unpermitted residences from Cities’ Zoning Enforcement files.

Some examples of what was found during this effort:

  • 990 group quarters (20% more than the original 4,000)
  • 50 unlicensed mobile home parks
  • 6,000 mobile homes not in the Assessor file
  • The City of San Fernando reported 4,500 residences and an additional 1,200 inhabited garages, a 28% increase.

The County reported 149,000 new residences to the Bureau that were not in MAF; the Bureau accepted 143,000 of them (96%).

We estimated that 3 persons live in each per residence – that is like finding a City of 440,000 people (slightly less than the City of Long Beach).  The City of Los Angeles calculates that a counted person is worth about $269 per year for ten years.  Using these numbers yields a very large potential revenue recovery of over $115 million per year of State and Federal funds to 87 Cities from a five-month project costing $250,000.

Contact:  Victor Chen,

(562) 658-1799


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