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An accurate decennial census relies on finding and counting people-- only once--in their usual place of residence, and collecting complete and correct information on them. This is a daunting task as the nation's population is growing steadily larger, more diverse, and according to the U.S.
The 2010 Census will be the most expensive census in our nation's history, even after adjusting for inflation. The Census Bureau (Bureau) estimates that the life cycle cost of the 2010 Census will be from $13.7 billion to $14.5 billion.
The decennial census is a constitutionally-mandated activity that produces critical data used to apportion congressional seats, redraw congressional districts, and allocate billions of dollars in federal assistance.
Decennial census data need to be as accurate as possible because the population counts are used for, among other purposes, allocating federal grants to states and local governments. The U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) used statistical methods to estimate the accuracy of 1990 and 2000 Census data.
The U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) conducted the Count Question Resolution (CQR) program to correct errors in the count of housing units as well as dormitories and other group living facilities known as group quarters.
Evaluations of past censuses show that certain groups were undercounted compared to other groups, a problem known as "coverage error." To address this, the Census Bureau included in its 2000 Census design the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation Program (A.C.E.
For the past 50 years, the federal government has had a metropolitan area program designed to provide a nationally consistent set of standards for collecting, tabulating, and publishing federal statistics for geographic areas in the United States and Puerto Rico.
The key to a successful census is meticulous planning as it helps ensure greater cost-effectiveness. However, the 2000 and previous censuses have been marked by poor planning, which unnecessarily raised the costs and risks of those efforts. GAO was asked to (1) review the U.S.