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kev@censusstaff
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My last posts addressed how the changing world of economic units and households is diminishing the effectiveness of our current methods and increasing their costs, at a time of great fiscal pressure. This post comments on a way forward. The future is likely to value more timely statistical information, while certain populations may become more difficult to measure directly. However, many of these difficult-to-measure businesses, households, and persons will be included in administrative data systems (data already supplied by the units) that could be used as companions to survey data. This future will require using multiple alternative sources of data... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2011 at The Director's Blog
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Let me tell you a wonderful story, a statistical detective story of sorts. During the summer, you may have seen statistics released from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 on same-sex couple unmarried partner households. We noticed that reported counts of same-sex couples from the 2010 census were much higher than similar estimates from American Community Survey at earlier years. Our demographic analysts had some immediate ideas, explained nicely in this video: So we suspected that the format of the nonresponse followup form was the culprit. If that were the case, one should see some obvious mismatches between the name... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2011 at The Director's Blog
In my last post, I reviewed five observations. Because of changes in American society, 1) the Census Bureau’s methods of data collection are costing more money to produce the same statistical information, but 2) the demands are increasing for more statistical information from businesses, governments, and the public, and 3) there are new data collection technologies that are being invented constantly, 4) there are new sources of digital data from Federal program agencies, the internet, and economic transactions, but 5) in the medium run the Census Bureau is not likely to have more fiscal resources to take advantage of these.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2011 at The Director's Blog
As geographic areas throughout the nation change to the new structure between January and November of 2012, some Field Representatives may experience slight increases or decreases in their monthly assignments due to the new Field Supervisor supervisory structure and delineated areas.
Barbara, you can go here: http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/
The restructuring of the Regional Offices will not automatically create new field representative positions. New field representative positions are a result of increased or new survey data collection work. Field Representative positions are excepted service (Schedule A) positions. The excepted service is subject to separate regulations from the competitive service. In order to move from the competitive service to a job in the excepted service, you would have to apply and compete as an external applicant for a new appointment.
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I presented a set of findings from Census Bureau programs on CSPAN today. Collectively, they provide interesting insights into gender roles and the place of women in the economy. They are based on supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS) (which we do jointly with the Bureau of Labor Statistics), the American Community Survey (ACS), and the Survey of Business Owners. The Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey are ongoing. The Survey of Business Owners is on an every-five-year cycle. Female employment has been steadily increasing over the past decades, both in numbers and percentages of the female... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2011 at The Director's Blog
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Last week I was pleased to speak to the Rural Philanthropy Conference. They are a set of private and community foundations that identify problems and issues facing rural America and seek to improve the areas through foundation investments. They want to do good works and see the lives of rural peoples improve. There was discussion about what “rural” really means. It is fair to say that rurality as a concept has for years been derived from first identifying various types of urban areas. In that sense, rural areas are residual to urban areas; everything that’s not urban is rural. For... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2011 at The Director's Blog
Our census block shapefiles with 2010 census population and housing unit counts (http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/tgrshp2010/pophu.html) do not include vacant housing numbers. Vacant housing data would need to be downloaded from American FactFinder2 and joined with the shapefile (http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/wwtl/brochures/DownloadingAFFData.pdf). Our TIGER/Line Shapefiles cannot be added to Google maps. You would need GIS software to view our TIGER/Line Shapefiles properly.
Jennifer, The article you cite is from three months ago and discusses many of the cuts we initiated in order to fund higher priority programs, like the Economic Census. We're now at a different point in the budget process where the House Appropriations Committee has proposed deeper cuts. These cuts mean we cannot do all the work the Congress has asked us to do, which would force us to cancel major programs.
The Census Bureau is at its best when it develops new techniques and technology to improve its own processes. Whenever we see a good opportunity to share the techniques, we do. The U.S. Census Bureau recently partnered with USAID in providing technical assistance to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics for its 2011 Population Census through the deployment of the Census Bureau’s integrated Computer Assisted Data Entry (iCADE) technology. To deploy the iCADE system for Bangladesh’s 2011 Population Census, the Census Bureau provided the following support, training, and guidance: (1) the creation of the Population Census forms in Bengali with 9... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2011 at The Director's Blog
Our name, the Census Bureau, suggests only the decennial census of population to many. However, we have more individual statistical programs that measure the economy than those measuring the population. From the Census Bureau, the US learns the key economic health of the manufacturing, retail, and other service sectors. The Census Bureau supplies the country its foreign trade statistics, key import and export data, which measure the relative success of American goods abroad and our consumption of other countries’ products. We track the construction of new homes, how housing starts are changing across the country. We measure the fiscal condition... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2011 at The Director's Blog
I have devoted much of this blog over the last two years to discussions about how the taxpayers who finance federal statistical findings can evaluate the quality of our work. Federal statistics play a critical role in our democracy, providing objective and documented measures of our economy and society. We often take these measures for granted, assuming that the federal statistical system will continue to provide timely, reliable, and relevant current measures of our economy and society as well as periodic benchmark measures. Each year the Congress and the Executive Branch work to formulate a budget for the Federal government,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2011 at The Director's Blog
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Field Representatives will not be affected by the Reduction-in-Force when the six regional offices close at the end of 2012. The only change a Field Representative will experience is who they report to (a Field Supervisor), and which regional office they are associated with.
Field Representatives will not be affected by the Reduction-in-Force when the six regional offices close at the end of 2012. The only change a Field Representative will experience is who they report to (a Field Supervisor), and which regional office they are associated with.
As a recent post noted, we have decided that the Census Bureau can take advantage of new management technologies, improve the supervision of interviewers, and reduce management costs by closing six of the twelve regional offices that have been a feature of the organization since 1961. We have initiated an 18 month transition to the new structure to minimize the disruption of the changes to our data collections. The jobs of the approximately 6500 field interviewers remain exactly the same. They will gradually move from reporting to multiple persons working out of one of 12 offices to reporting to a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2011 at The Director's Blog
The Census Bureau produces a vast array of statistical information used by governments and business to inform decisions and policies that affect all of our lives. In addition to programs like the American Community Survey and the Economic Census, the Census Bureau provides statistical services to other Federal government agencies. Indeed, over 20 percent of the Census Bureau’s work is funded through agreements with other Federal agencies to conduct surveys which provide key statistics charting the society or economy. We design the surveys, collect the data, process the completed questionnaires, and assist our clients as together we fulfill our mission... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2011 at The Director's Blog
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Social and economic research examines the behavior of individuals and groups of persons. The Census Bureau’s data are key to that research. But producing insights is increasingly difficult because of the heterogeneity within the society. There are over a hundred different languages spoken in the US currently. The percentage of US residents that are foreign-born is higher than anytime since the 1920’s. Minority groups, at one time clustered in the big cities of the country, are spread throughout the country in small and large towns. Generational differences in lifestyles seem to be increasing as the internet changes our lives at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2011 at The Director's Blog
I’m finding myself looking back over the experience of the 2010 Census and drawing some lessons learned. If we’re smart as an organization, we’ll build the 2020 Census planning effort with these in mind. Here they are: Lesson 1: The multi-decade cost increase of the decennial census must be halted. We have looked at the cost trend of the last several decades, and we know that this trend is unsustainable. One way to do this is to make the next census as convenient as possible for people to answer. Another way we can do this is to maintain our collaboration... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2011 at The Director's Blog
Every day somewhere in the U.S., a Census Bureau field interviewer is working on one of our sample surveys. This work asks her to locate specific addresses that our statisticians have chosen to form a scientific sample representing all households in the country. At the moment the addresses are sampled we know nothing about them other than their location. We ask the field interviewer to visit them, seek the participation of the household, administer a questionnaire, and return the answers for processing to produce the statistical information on how the country's doing. Although these statistical samples are small relative to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2011 at The Director's Blog
I’m off to help the people of Plato, Missouri, a small village in South Central Missouri, celebrate their being named the 2010 Center of Population. The center of the population as defined by the 2010 Census is that point in the US that if we imagined a flat surface representing all the geography (including Alaska and Hawaii), with all residents weighing exactly the same, we would have a perfect balance on the surface. This decade the center of population moved from Edgar Springs, MO, to Plato, southwest by about 20 miles or so. I’ll meet with students at the school... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2011 at The Director's Blog
American Factfinder will let you access data from multiple geographies within the state, such as census blocks, tracts, voting districts, cities, counties and school districts: http://factfinder2.census.gov.
Toggle Commented Apr 27, 2011 on An Important Milestone at The Director's Blog
For 2010 Census data, please visit American Factfinder: http://factfinder2.census.gov.
Toggle Commented Apr 25, 2011 on An Important Milestone at The Director's Blog
One of the issues I think about a lot these days is maximizing the credibility of statistical information that we provide to the United States. That statistical information is a key feedback loop for the American public. Our estimates describe almost every aspect of our lives – income and educational attainment, retail and wholesale sales, occupational distributions in small communities, foreign trade flows, and changes in job distributions. They allow the citizenry to assess how things are going and to evaluate actions of the government that may affect their well-being. If the Census Bureau statistics are not believed, if they’re... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2011 at The Director's Blog
One of the key attributes of statistical information from the Census Bureau is that it should serve the widest audience possible, that it is relevant to their needs. The challenge in today’s United States is that there are many diverse needs of the public, local officials, business leaders, and federal government officials. We try to produce many different statistics to serve those needs. Relevancy is an issue also in the methods we use to seek answers to our statistical survey questions. For years, the tools we most often used were a visit by one of our field interviewers to a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at The Director's Blog