The UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU (USCB; officially the BUREAU OF THE
CENSUS, as defined in Title 13 U.S.C. § 11) is a principal agency of
the U.S. Federal Statistical System , responsible for producing data
about the American people and economy . The
Census Bureau is part of
Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the
President of the
United States .
Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U.S. Census
every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U.S. House of
Representatives to the states based on their population. The Bureau's
various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 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
In addition to the decennial census, the
Census Bureau continually
conducts dozens of other censuses and surveys , including the American
Community Survey , the U.S. Economic
Census , and the Current
Population Survey . Furthermore, economic and foreign trade
indicators released by the federal government typically contain data
produced by the
* 1 Legal mandate
* 2 Data collection
Census regions and divisions
* 2.2 Uses of census data
* 2.3 Data stewardship
* 2.4 Ongoing surveys
* 2.5 Other surveys conducted
* 3 Organizational structure
* 4 Computer equipment
* 5 Handheld computers (HHC)
* 5.1 Security precautions
* 5.2 Success and failure
* 6 Notable Alumni
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links
Census headquarters in
The Constitution of the
United States (Article I, 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 . The
Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every
10 years in years ending with a zero and uses the term "decennial " to
describe the operation. Between censuses, the
Census Bureau makes
population estimates and projections.
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 much more. The
Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these
obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its
people, and economy. The
Census Bureau's legal authority is codified
in Title 13 of the
United States Code .
Census Bureau also conducts surveys on behalf of various federal
government and local government agencies on topics such as employment,
crime, health, consumer expenditures , and housing. 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.
Between 1790 and 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the
judicial districts. 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. In 1902, the temporary
Census Office was moved under the
Department of Interior , and in 1903 it was renamed the
under the new
Department of Commerce and Labor . The department was
intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census
Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the
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 US 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 Bureau Regions and Divisions
CENSUS REGIONS AND DIVISIONS
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
Regional divisions used by the
* Region 1: Northeast
* Division 1:
New England (
Massachusetts , New
Rhode Island , and
* 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 (
Ohio , and
* Division 4: West North Central (
North Dakota , and
South Dakota )
* Region 3: South
* Division 5: South Atlantic (
Florida , Georgia ,
North Carolina ,
South Carolina ,
Virginia , Washington
D.C. , and West
* Division 6: East South Central (
* Division 7: West South Central (
* Region 4: West
* Division 8: Mountain (
New Mexico ,
Utah , and
* Division 9: Pacific (
Oregon , and
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 USA,
* 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
Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, and
guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information
related to individuals or establishments. Title 13 of the U.S. Code
establishes penalties for the disclosure of this information. All
Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to
The Bureau cannot share responses, addresses or personal information
with anyone including
United States or foreign government and law
enforcement agencies such as the IRS or the FBI or Interpol.
"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.
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. During
World War II, the
Census Bureau assisted the
Japanese American internment efforts by providing
confidential neighborhood information on Japanese-Americans. The
Bureau's role was denied for decades but was finally proven in 2007.
Census Bureau distributes data it collects via censuses and
surveys on its American FactFinder website.
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A survey is a method of collecting and analyzing social, economic,
and geographic data . It provides information about the conditions of
the United States, states, and counties. Throughout the decade between
censuses, the bureau conducts surveys to produce a general view and
comprehensive study of the United States' social and economic
Staff from the Current Surveys Program conduct over 130 ongoing and
special surveys about people and their characteristics. A network of
professional field representatives gathers information from a sample
of households, responding to questions about employment, consumer
expenditures, health, housing, and other topics. Surveys conducted
American Community Survey
American Community Survey
American Housing Survey
Consumer Expenditure Survey
Census of Governments
Current Population Survey
* National Hospital Discharge Survey
* National Health Interview Survey
* National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
National Crime Victimization Survey
* National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS)
* National Nursing Home Survey
Survey of Income and Program Participation
* Survey of Construction
* Survey of Market Absorption
* Survey of Program Dynamics
National Longitudinal Survey
* National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, "> U.S.
Regional Office Boundaries
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.
Census Bureau has had headquarters in
Suitland, Maryland , since
1942. A new headquarters complex was completed in 2007 and supports
over 4,000 employees. The Bureau operates regional offices in 12
New York City
New York City ,
Kansas City ,
Denver , and
Los Angeles . 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 "Local Census
Offices" within their collection jurisdictions. The estimated cost of
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
Census Bureau to consolidate. The remaining regional offices will
New York City
New York City ,
Denver , and
Los Angeles .
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
A card puncher, part of the tabulation system used to compile
the thousands of facts gathered by the Bureau (circa 1940). Holes are
punched in the card according to a prearranged code transferring the
facts from the census questionnaire into statistics.
The 1890 census was the first to use the electric tabulating machines
Herman Hollerith . 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_. US GPO . In 1946, knowing of the Bureau's
funding of Hollerith and, later, Powers ,
John Mauchly approached the
Bureau about early funding for
UNIVAC development. A
computer was accepted by the Bureau in 1951.
HANDHELD COMPUTERS (HHC)
Historically, the census 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
Census Project. Projected savings were estimated
to be over $1 billion.
The HHC was manufactured by
Harris Corporation , an established
Department of Defense contractor, via a controversial contract with
Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce . 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 contracting
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 reprogramming, operator implementation of proper
procedure was imperative. Dramatic dysfunction and delays occurred if
the units were not put into sleep mode overnight.
John Shaw Billings
W. Edwards Deming
Davis Rich Dewey
Halbert L. Dunn
Morris H. Hansen
* Roger Herriot
Joseph Adna Hill
* Shirley Kallek
John Wesley Langley
Thomas Commerford Martin
Cyrus Guernsey Pringle
Richard M. Scammon
* Julius Shiskin
* Conrad Taeuber
* Lafayette Parker "Pick" Temple
* Geography portal
* North America portal
United States portal
* Government of the
United States portal
List of U.S. states and territories by population
* List of metropolitan areas of the
* List of
United States cities by population
* List of
United States counties and county-equivalents
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
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
* ^ _A_ _B_ USCB DOC-D1026 QVC Manual 01/03/09
* ^ "U.S.
Census Bureau Strategic Plan FY 2013 – 2017" (PDF).
Census Bureau. April 2013.
* ^ "BNL Consulting". _bnlconsulting.com_. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Analysis The U.S. census is in trouble. This is why
it’s crucial to what the nation knows about itself.". _Washington
Post_. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
* ^ "
Population Estimates". U.S. Bureau of the Census.
* ^ History 1790. US
* ^ History 1840. US
* ^ History: 1900 Overview. US
* ^ _A_ _B_ History 1920. US
* ^ History 1954. US
Census Bureau, Geography Division. "Census
Regions and Divisions of the United States" (PDF). Retrieved February
* ^ "The National Energy Modeling System: An Overview 2003" (Report
#:DOE/EIA-0581, October 2009).
United States Department of Energy,
Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration .
* ^ "The most widely used regional definitions follow those of the
U.S. Bureau of the Census." Seymour Sudman and Norman M. Bradburn,
_Asking Questions: A Practical Guide to Questionnaire Design_ (1982).
Jossey-Bass : p. 205.
* ^ "Perhaps the most widely used regional classification system is
one developed by the U.S.
Census Bureau." Dale M. Lewison,
Prentice Hall (1997): p. 384. ISBN 978-0-13-461427-4
* ^ "(M)ost demographic and food consumption data are presented in
this four-region format." Pamela Goyan Kittler, Kathryn P. Sucher,
_Food and Culture_,
Cengage Learning (2008): p.475. ISBN 9780495115410
* ^ _A_ _B_ "
Census Bureau Regions and Divisions with State FIPS
Codes" (PDF). US
Census Bureau. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
* ^ _
Census Employee Handbook_ (PDF), April 2009
* ^ "72-Year Rule". _www.census.gov_. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
* ^ _The Myth of
Census Confidentiality_, 8 (2), Amerasia Journal,
UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, Fall–Winter 1981, pp.
111–120, ISSN 0044-7471
* ^ David Kopel (May 4, 1990), _
Census Confidentiality? The
Check\'s is in the Mail_, Cato Institute
* ^ JR Minkel (March 30, 2007), _Confirmed: The U.S.
Gave Up Names of Japanese-
Americans in WW II_, Scientific American
* ^ Haya El Nasser (March 30, 2007), _Papers show
Census role in
WWII camps_, USA Today
* ^ Harper, Beth (March 24, 2010). "American FactFinder Guide".
University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison . Archived from the original on
April 7, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
* ^ "List of All Surveys". _Census.gov_. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
* ^ Census.gov
* ^ "A Restructuring of
Census Bureau Regional Offices". U.S.
Bureau of the Census. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
* ^ "
Census Bureau Regional Office Boundaries" (PDF). U.S. Bureau
of the Census. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
* ^ "
Census Information Centers". U.S. Bureau of the Census.
Retrieved May 13, 2008.
* ^ Herman Hollerith
* ^ History 1890 US
* ^ Stern, Nancy (1981). _From ENIAC to UNIVAC: An appraisal of the
Eckert-Mauchly Computers_. Digital Press. ISBN 0-932376-14-2 .
* ^ Bashe, Charles J.; et. al (1986). _IBM's Early Computers_. MIT.
ISBN 0-262-02225-7 .
* ^ Govcomm.harris.com
* ^ Weinberg, Daniel. "Management challenges of the 2010 U.S.
Census" (PDF). U.S.
Census Bureau. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
* ^ House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on
Census and National Archives, "Chairman Clay
Census Address Canvassing Progress". June 08, 2009. Dead
link fixed via Internet Archive. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Wade-Hahn ChanMar 28, 2008 (2008-03-28). "Have feds
cheapened contract bonuses?". FCW. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
* ^ "
Census getting back on course, lawmakers told - Oversight".
GovExec.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09.