Federal Data Collection:
Status of 1992 Agriculture and Economic Censuses and Future Challenges
GGD-93-152BR: Published: Sep 23, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 1993.
- Full Report:
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of the 1992 Agriculture and Economic Censuses.
GAO found that: (1) the significant change in the 1992 Economic Censuses was the expanded coverage of the service sector and the gross domestic product; (2) the 1992 Agriculture Census used the same approach that it followed in previous censuses; (3) changes to the censuses were necessary to meet fiscal year 1993 budget reductions, including Census Bureau-revised census follow-up mailings and data processing spread over a longer period with fewer staff; (4) the national response rate for the Agricultural Census was 84.7 percent and, as of September 1993, the Bureau had mailed about 3.5 million census forms and followed up with additional mailings and telephone calls; (5) the Bureau expects to report agricultural data for about 2 million farms; (6) the national response rate for the Economic Census was 86.8 percent and, as of September 1993, the Bureau had mailed 4.2 million census forms and followed up with additional mailings and telephone calls; (7) the Bureau expects to report economic census data on about 15 million business establishments; and (8) although the Bureau is considering options to make the Agriculture Census more economical, efficient, and capable of providing timely and useful data, it needs to improve the quality of coverage, define a farm for statistical purposes, decide the role of sampling for data collection, coordinate its information with other agricultural statistics programs, and contain costs.