2000 Census: Significant Increase in Cost Per Housing Unit Compared to 1990 Census

GAO-02-31 Published: Dec 11, 2001. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 2001.
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The estimated $6.5 billion full-cycle cost of the 2000 decennial census is nearly double that of the 1990 census. When the full-cycle cost is divided by the number of American households, the cost per housing unit of the 2000 census was $56 compared to $32 per housing unit for the 1990 census. The primary reasons for the cost increases include the following: (1) in the 1990 census, field data collection cost was $16 per housing unit, while in the 2000 census it was $32 per housing unit; (2) in the 1990 census, technology costs were $5 per housing unit compared to $8 per housing unit for the 2000 census; and (3) the data content and products activity cost $3 per housing unit in 1990 and $5 per housing unit in 2000.

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