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Demographic Stereotypes Seen Clouding Family Policy

Inaccurate stereotypes "cloud our picture of children" and may steer policymakers astray, a recent report suggests.

The report by the Center for Demographic Policy at the Washington-based Institute for Educational Leadership offers data debunking what it says are common myths about poor and minority families.

Among the examples it uses to refute those myths are that in 1990, white women had more than half of all the babies born to unmarried women; that in 1992, 56 percent of all poor children lived in suburbs or rural areas; and that families on welfare have on average only two children.

Copies of the report, "Shattering Stereotypes: A Demographic Look at Children in the United States," are available for $12 each from the Institute for Educational Leadership, Center for Demographic Policy, 1001 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Census Input: The U.S. Census Bureau is offering nonfederal users of census data the chance to offer suggestions about the questions to be asked in the 2000 census.

The bureau's "Survey of Census Needs of Non-Federal Data Users," will run through March of this year. It is intended for state, local, and tribal governments; ethnic and community organizations; the business sector; academic researchers; and the public.

A survey form is available from Gloria Porter or Doug Lee, Bureau of the Census, Room 3555/3, Washington, D.C. 20233-2000; (301) 457-4030; or e-mail at dlee@info.census.gov.

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