United States Census Bureau
|Formed||July 1, 1902; 118 years ago (1902-07-01)|
|Headquarters||Suitland, Maryland, U.S.|
|Annual budget||US$3.8 billion (est. 2019)|
|Parent agency||Department of Commerce|
The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. , responsible for producing data about the Federal Statistical SystemAmerican people and economy.
The Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $675 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, and businesses make informed decisions.
The information provided by the census informs decisions on where to build and maintain schools, hospitals, transportation infrastructure, and police and fire departments.
In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau continually conducts over 130 surveys and programs a year, including the American Community Survey, the U.S. , and the Economic CensusCurrent Population Survey.
Furthermore, economic and foreign trade indicators released by the federal government typically contain data produced by the Census Bureau.
Article One of the United States Constitution (section II) directs the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College.
Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population estimates and projections.
In addition, Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation and more.
The Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, and economy.
Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial (10-year) population counts.
The Census Bureau also conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail, service, and other establishments and of domestic governments.
The Census Act of 1840 established a central office which became known as the Census Office.
Several acts followed that revised and authorized new censuses, typically at the 10-year intervals.
The department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department.
An act in 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every two years and agriculture censuses every 10 years.
In 1929, a bill was passed mandating the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 Census.
In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the U.S. Code.
By law, the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U.S. President by December 31 of any year ending in a zero.
States within the Union receive the results in the spring of the following year.
Census regions and divisions
The United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions.
The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis".
The Census Bureau definition is pervasive.
Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau:
- Region 1: Northeast
- Division 1: New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
- Division 2: Mid-Atlantic (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania)
- Region 2: Midwest (Prior to June 1984, the Midwest Region was designated as the North Central Region.)
- Division 3: East North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin)
- Division 4: West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota)
- Region 3: South
- Division 5: South Atlantic (Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia)
- Division 6: East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee)
- Division 7: West South Central (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas)
- Region 4: West
Uses of census data
Many federal, state, local and tribal governments use census data to:
- Decide the location of new housing and public facilities,
- Examine the demographic characteristics of communities, states, and the US,
- Plan transportation systems and roadways,
- Determine quotas and creation of police and fire precincts, and
- Create localized areas for elections, schools, utilities, etc.
- Gathers population information every 10 years
The United States Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, and guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information related to individuals or establishments.
All Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to employment.
"Providing quality data, for public good—while respecting individual privacy and, at the same time, protecting confidentiality—is the Census Bureau's core responsibility"; "Keeping the public's trust is critical to the Census's ability to carry out the mission as the leading source of quality data about the Nation's people and economy."
Only after 72 years does the information collected become available to other agencies or the general public.
Seventy-two years was picked because usually by 72 years since the census is taken, most participants would be deceased.
Despite these guarantees of confidentiality, the Census Bureau has some history of disclosures to other government agencies.
In 1918, the Census Bureau released individual information regarding several hundred young men to the Justice Department and Selective Service system for the purpose of prosecutions for draft evasion.
The Bureau's role was denied for decades but was finally proven in 2007.
These insights are often linked to financial and economic strategies that are central to federal, state and city investments for locations of particular populations.
Such apportionments are designed to distribute political power across neutral spatial allocations; however, "because so much is at stake, the census also runs the risk of being politicized."
One frequently used example includes ambiguous ethnic counts, which often involves underenumeration and/or undercounting of minority populations.
Ideas about race, ethnicity and identity have also evolved in the United States, and such changes warrant examination of how these shifts have impacted the accuracy of census data over time.
The United States Census Bureau began pursuing technological innovations to improve the precision of its census data collection in the 1980s.
Robert W. Marx, the Chief of the Geography Division of the USCB teamed up with the U.S. and oversaw the creation of the Geological SurveyTopologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) database system.
Census officials were able to evaluate the more sophisticated and detailed results that the TIGER system produced; furthermore, TIGER data is also available to the public.
And while the TIGER system does not directly amass demographic data, as a geographic information system (GIS), it can be used to merge demographics to conduct more accurate geospatial and mapping analysis.
In July 2019 the Census Bureau deprecated American Fact Finder for the new platform , providing support for data users accessing the new site.
Other surveys conducted
The Census Bureau collects information in many other surveys and provides the data to the survey sponsor for release.
These sponsors include:
- Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
- Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
- National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- Social Security Administration (SSA)
Since 1903, the official census-taking agency of the United States government has been the Bureau of the Census.
The Census Bureau is headed by a Director, assisted by a Deputy Director and an Executive Staff composed of the associate directors.
The Census Bureau has had headquarters in Suitland, Maryland, since 1942.
A new headquarters complex there was completed in 2007 and supports over 4,000 employees.
The National Processing Center is in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Additional temporary processing facilities facilitate the decennial census, which employs more than a million people.
The cost of the 2000 Census was $4.5 billion.
During the years just prior to the decennial census, parallel census offices, known as "Regional Census Centers" are opened in the field office cities.
The decennial operations are carried out from these facilities.
The Regional Census Centers oversee the openings and closings of smaller "Area Census Offices" within their collection jurisdictions.
The estimated cost of the 2010 Census is $14.7 billion.
On January 1, 2013, the Census Bureau was to consolidate its 12 regional offices into 6.
Increasing costs of data collection, changes in survey management tools such as laptops and the increasing use of multi-modal surveys (i.e. internet, telephone, and in-person) has led the Census Bureau to consolidate.
The Census Bureau also runs the Census Information Center cooperative program that involves 58 "national, regional, and local non-profit organizations".
The CIC program aims to represent the interests of underserved communities.
For 1890–1940 details, see Truesdell, Leon E. (1965).
The Development of Punch Card Tabulation in the Bureau of the Census, 1890–1940: With outlines of actual tabulation programs.
U.S. . GPO
A UNIVAC I computer was accepted by the Bureau in 1951.
Handheld computers (HHC)
Historically, the census information was gathered by census takers going door-to-door collecting information in a ledger.
Beginning in 1970 information was gathered via mailed forms.
To reduce paper usage, reduce payroll expense and acquire the most comprehensive list of addresses ever compiled, 500,000 handheld computers (HHCs) (specifically designed, single purpose devices) were used for the first time in 2009 during the address canvassing portion of the 2010 Decennial Census Project.
Projected savings were estimated to be over $1 billion.
Main article: Device fingerprint
Secured access via a fingerprint swipe guaranteed only the verified user could access the unit.
A GPS capacity was integral to the daily address management and the transfer of gathered information.
Of major importance was the security and integrity of the populace's private information.
Success and failure
Enumerators (information gatherers) that had operational problems with the device understandably made negative reports.
During the 2009 Senate confirmation hearings for Robert Groves, President Obama's Census Director appointee, there was much mention of problems but very little criticism of the units.
In rural areas, the sparsity of cell phone towers caused problems with data transmission to and from the HHC.
Since the units were updated nightly with important changes and updates, operator implementation of proper procedure was imperative.
Dramatic dysfunction and delays occurred if the units were not put into sleep mode overnight.
- List of U.S. states and territories by population
- List of metropolitan areas of the United States
- List of United States cities by population
- List of United States counties and county-equivalents
- United States Office of Management and Budget
- Primary statistical area – List of the 574 PSAs
- Combined Statistical Area – List of the 169 CSAs
- Core Based Statistical Area – List of the 929 CBSAs
- Metropolitan Statistical Area – List of the 388 MSAs
- Micropolitan Statistical Area – List of the 541 μSAs
- United States urban area – List of United States urban areas
- Title 13 of the United States Code
- Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations
- Director of the United States Census Bureau
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United States Census Bureau.