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The decennial census is a constitutionally mandated activity that produces data used to apportion congressional seats, redraw congressional districts, and help allocate billions of dollars in federal assistance. A complete and accurate master address file (MAF), along with precise maps--the U.S. Census Bureau's (Bureau) mapping system is called Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER)--are the building blocks of a successful census. If the Bureau's address list and maps are inaccurate, people can be missed, counted more than once, or included in the wrong location. This testimony discusses the Bureau's readiness for the 2010 Census and covers: (1) the Bureau's progress in building an accurate address list; and (2) an update of the Bureau's information technology (IT) system used to extract information from its MAF/TIGER? database. Our review included observations at 20 early opening local census offices in hard-to-count areas. The testimony is based on previously issued and ongoing work.

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