Bureau of the Census' Procedures for the 1980 Decennial Census

GGD-79-7: Published: Nov 9, 1978. Publicly Released: Nov 9, 1978.

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For the 1980 Decennial Census of Population and Housing, the Bureau of the Census plans to spend more than four times the $222 million it spent for the 1970 census, without assurance that there will be an appreciable improvement in the data collected. More than $300 million of the estimated increase is attributable to inflation and to a larger workload because of the increased population. The remainder is for procedures that the Bureau hopes will reduce the population undercount for minorities and improve the quality and usefulness of the data. Because census data affect the distribution of billions of dollars in Federal funds, there has been great pressure for the Bureau to increase the statistical visibility of various segments of the population. The budgeting for the decennial census is, in some cases, based on inaccurate or inadequate data, and the costs for certain decennial projects are not accurately recorded. The Bureau determined that it would be better to purchase a new mailing list for the 1980 census than to incur the costs and processing problems of updating the 1970 list. The Bureau has used the 1970 mailing list for intercensual surveys, but there is no estimate of savings from this use.

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