While statistical adjustment was ruled out in 2010, the issue could re-emerge for the next census in 2020 as the agency struggles to find ways to rein in ballooning costs to its traditional paper mailing operation while striving to reduce a persistent undercount among minorities. Groves is leaving his post in August to become provost at Georgetown University, and in an election year President Barack Obama has not yet nominated his successor.

“Given the difficult economic climate leading up to the 2010 census — with Latinos hit particularly hard by foreclosures, job-loss and other issues that can hinder census participation — the results of this census could easily have been far worse,” the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials said in a statement. “As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, it is increasingly important for the country to invest in funding that will allow the Census Bureau to address the undercount challenges.”

___

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.