The population of foreclosed homes has seen growth rates of more than 29% during the last two years, bringing their numbers into the tens of millions. Census Bureau officials planning on including the empty homes in the upcoming Census defended the decision, saying the numbers were too large to ignore.
"These foreclosed homes, on their own, make up almost 12% of the U.S. population," said Census Officer Carl Lambert. "And that figure is only going to keep growing."
Census enumerators are welcoming the change, saying foreclosed homes are easier to find and define than some ethnic groups.
"If it's got brown grass or plywood on the windows, I know instantly which box to check," said Census enumerator Jack Pepper.
The Census Bureau is also considering instituting a bi-monthly count of this dynamic and growing group.