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Detroit claims undercount in suit against US Census

A lawsuit filed against the Census Bureau opened Monday in US District Court. The City of Detroit says that undercounts in previous years have shortchanged its residents and that, with preliminary 1980 figures showing the city has lost more than 250,000 residents, it will happen again. One witness, a demographer for the National Urban League, estimates that counters in 1970 missed 67,000 people -- costing the city $52 million in federal and state grants.

Friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed by Atlanta; Boston; Milwaukee; New Orleans; PAterson, N.J.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Wilmington, Del. New York; Philadelphia; and Newark, N.J., have each filed separate suits against the Census Bureau.

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