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sam@censusstaff
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The Census Bureau produces a vast array of statistical information used by governments and businesses to inform decisions that affect everyone’s lives. It designs the surveys, collects the data, processes the completed questionnaires, and produces the statistical information. These statistics touch every aspect of Americans’ lives – health, crime, income, education, labor force participation, housing conditions, consumer expenditures, and a host of others. Over the past two years the senior leadership of the Census Bureau has been engaged in a series of organizational change initiatives designed to improve its ability to supply the country credible and cost-efficient economic and social... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2011 at The Director's Blog
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We held a press conference to review latest updates on evaluating the 2010 Census. As usual we separated our remarks into process indicators (how well the data collection went), from comparisons of different ways to estimate the population, from the post-enumeration survey (the large sample survey designed to measure how many were missed or double counted in the census). We now have final rates of what portion of the paper questionnaires were completed by those given them. We call this the “return rate,” whose numerator is all returned questionnaires, and the denominator is all units that were occupied (and thus... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2011 at The Director's Blog
What’s the difference between “data” and “information?” We’re entering a world where data will be the cheapest commodity around, simply because the society has created systems that automatically track transactions of all sorts. For example, internet search engines build data sets with every entry, Twitter generates tweet data continuously, traffic cameras digitally count cars, scanners record purchases, RFID’s signal the presence of packages and equipment, and internet sites capture and store mouse clicks. Collectively, the society is assembling data on massive amounts of its behaviors. Indeed, if you think of these processes as an ecosystem, it is self-measuring in increasingly... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2011 at The Director's Blog
With the completion of each census, as local officials examine the just-delivered population counts, many are disappointed. They are totally focused on strengthening and building their communities, and many view the size of the population as evidence of their success. They have also learned the lessons that political representation and program funding are linked to population counts. Hence, when the population counts don’t meet their expectations about their population size they have real concerns. We at the Census Bureau, from our evaluations of past censuses, know that no Census of the US is perfect. Indeed, we know from studying the... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2011 at The Director's Blog
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, “Demographic Analysis” And The Census, one method of measuring the size of the US population relies on historical birth registration, death registration, as well as estimates of in-migration to and out-migration from the United States. Census Bureau demographers completed the assembly of national estimates for the April 1, 2010 population of the United States, and we released them on December 6, 2010. Since demographic analysis produces only national estimates, it cannot be used for the reapportionment and redistricting purposes required of the 2010 Census. It is, however, a useful comparison to the official... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2011 at The Director's Blog
@Morty: As Dr. Groves described, the census is nearly complete with these two operations nationally. Some local offices are already finishing up and will begin closing. The Queens NW office is finished with the VDC operation but is still working on wrapping up the Field Verification operation. Please contact your supervisor for any additional questions.
@Dale: Please check out the link below for a complete list of data releases related to the 2010 Census. The total population count and apportionment totals will be delivered to the president and released to the public before the end of the year. Redistricting data is distributed to the states beginning in Feb/March 2011. http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2010/glance/index.html
As I noted in an earlier post, we are now running two field operations as part of the quality improvement phase of the 2010 Census – the vacant/delete check (double checking the status of units of a variety of types, and conducting interviews for supplemental households added to our list too late to include them in mailout or earlier operations) and the field verification check (where we check the addresses of some units that used a “be counted” form or called the Telephone Questionnaire Assistance line to respond). On the vacant/delete check, we are very nearly complete (above 99%) and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2010 at The Director's Blog
The point of the first three posts on census quality was to note that there is no known “truth” with regard to the population of the United States. We have different tools, each of which gives us a different look at the population at different points in time, but each of which has some weakness. This post is a short description of the method of “demographic analysis.” It provides estimates of population counts at the national level only. It provides separate estimates by single years of age, separately for males and females, separately for two race groups (Black and nonblack).... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2010 at The Director's Blog
@Clerk: Please check with your regional office for more information.
@Vinson We are currently following up with a small number of households to clarify answers about the number of people living at an address, based on answers they provided on the form. Please, if you are one of the small percent of homes visited during our quality assurance process for re-interview or verification, take a few minutes to help us ensure the quality of the 2010 Census. The caller will identify themselves as working for the U.S. Census Bureau and that the purpose of their call is to help the Census Bureau take the most accurate census and to ensure we have counted everyone at the right address. The caller ID will likely show “U.S. Census Bureau.” If this text is not supported (such as on a cell phone), then the inbound toll-free number should show up. The exact number depends on the language skill for which the call is made. If you would like to confirm that you have been contacted by the Census Bureau, call 866-851-2010 and use the eight-digit case identification number provided to complete the interview. We are charged with counting everyone, once, and only once, and in the right place. We check and double check to make sure we get it right. Learn more: http://blogs.census.gov/2010census/2010/06/quality-assurance-and-the-2010-census.html
@irritated We are currently following up with a small number of households to clarify answers about the number of people living at an address, based on answers they provided on the form. Please, if you are one of the small percent of homes visited during our quality assurance process for re-interview or verification, take a few minutes to help us ensure the quality of the 2010 Census. We are charged with counting everyone, once, and only once, and in the right place. We check and double check to make sure we get it right. Learn more: http://blogs.census.gov/2010census/2010/06/quality-assurance-and-the-2010-census.html
@myrl Please help us ensure the quality of the 2010 Census by responding to follow-up calls about the data collected on your form. We are currently following up with a small number of households to clarify answers about the number of people living at an address, based on answers they provided on the form. Please, if you are one of the small percent of homes visited during our quality assurance process for re-interview or verification, take a few minutes to help us ensure the quality of the 2010 Census. We are charged with counting everyone, once, and only once, and in the right place. We check and double check to make sure we get it right. Learn more: http://blogs.census.gov/2010census/2010/06/quality-assurance-and-the-2010-census.html
Much of the work of the Census Bureau is embedded in a culture of science. The notions of quality of our work are derived from scientific principles. Our language to describe our products uses scientific and statistical terms. Inherent in this perspective is the ethic that the scientist must reveal all the weakness, qualifications, and alternative possibilities of a piece of work. In short, scientists tend to emphasize the negative qualities of their work before revealing their conclusions. Bertrand Russell once said that the more scientists know, the more forcefully they articulate what they do not know. Interestingly to me,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2010 at The Director's Blog
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@tmp We are now in the final stages of data collection for the 2010 Census and are focusing on ensuring an accurate and complete count. We are charged with counting everyone, once, and only once, and in the right place. We check and double check to make sure we get it right. For more information on why your household may be contacted by the census, please read the Director's Blog entry on "Quality Assurance and the 2010 Census" http://blogs.census.gov/2010census/2010/06/quality-assurance-and-the-2010-census.html
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2010 on A Surprise Reaction at The Director's Blog
@Valerie - Thanks for your comment. People can call our telephone assistance line at 866-872-6868 to ensure their household is counted. In addition, we are visiting houses recently added to our address list in our current Quality Assurance operations - so households may still be visited by an enumerator.
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Today, I attended the Academy Awards. Not the Hollywood ones you’re familiar with, but they were special nonetheless. Over the past few months students at the Media Academy at Crenshaw High School in downtown Los Angeles created public service announcements for the 2010 Census. I had the pleasure of meeting these students who put so much hard work into developing a concept and then filming the message. They produced 7 Public Service Announcements; all different, all conveying the importance of the census. Our partner agencies have placed them on their websites, for all to see. We held an awards ceremony... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2010 at The Director's Blog
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One of the interesting things that happened over the past few weeks is that local officials in different areas challenged each other that their census participation rates would exceed the other. For example, two well-known towns have been battling to see which community has the highest participation rate for the 2010 Census. Deadwood, South Dakota Mayor Francis Toscana and Tombstone, Arizona Mayor Dusty Escapule challenged their respective cities to earn the highest response rate – spurring resident’s awareness of the importance of the 2010 Census and for old west bragging rights. Deadwood (population 1,380) and Tombstone (population 1,504) are top... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2010 at The Director's Blog
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We made it to Anchorage Saturday afternoon, January 23. First, we went to the local Census office (the only one in Alaska), to gather up heavy coats, snow boots, snow pants, and sleeping bags (all loaned to us by local groups), in preparation for the first enumeration in Noorvik on Monday. We met with local Census staff, who are busy preparing the various phases of the “remote Alaska” operation and also for the start of enumeration in some other parts of the state where we do direct interviewing of folks. Training is happening at multiple locations. They were filled with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2010 at The Director's Blog