Monday, February 1, 2010


February 1, 2010
No. 85

In this issue
President Unveils FY2011 Budget Proposal
Stakeholder Spotlight
New Resources for Census Advocates







President Obama sent his Fiscal Year 2011 (FY2011) budget proposal to Congress today, beginning the process for funding federal programs starting October 1, 2010. The budget seeks $1.267 billion for the U.S. Census Bureau, a reduction of $6 billion from this year's appropriation of about $7.3 billion, which covers the height of 2010 census operations. The budget proposes $8.95 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Commerce, of which the Census Bureau is a part.

2010 census: The Administration requested $740 million in new budget authority for the 2010 census. In FY2011, the Census Bureau will:

✓ Continue processing and tabulating data collected in the 2010 census;
✓ Continue data collection for Census Coverage Measurement (CCM), the post-census operation to measure the quality and coverage of the 2010 census, and conduct other "extensive evaluations;"
✓ Publish state population totals for congressional apportionment, transmit detailed (block level) population counts to the states for redistricting under Public Law 94-171, and begin releasing general data products from the 2010 census; and
✓ Close Local Census Offices and Regional Census Centers.

American Community Survey:
The Administration is requesting an increase of $44 million for the American Community Survey (ACS) to begin the process of increasing the sample size from its current 2.9 million housing units to 3.5 million housing units; if fully implemented, the ACS would survey 2.5 percent of the population each year. The funding increase also would allow for improved telephone and field data collection; 100 percent follow-up of unresponsive households in Remote Alaska and small American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Homeland areas; and a comprehensive review of three-year and five-year ACS estimates. (The ACS design includes door-to-door visits only to a sample of unresponsive homes, with a variable sampling rate based on mail and telephone response rates for each area in the first phases of the survey.)

Also in FY2011, the Census Bureau will continue releasing the first socio-economic characteristics data from the ACS for census tracts and block groups, based on five years worth of data collection (2005-2009), as well as one-year and three-year 2009 ACS estimates for states, counties, cities, and other areas with populations of 65,000+ and 20,000+, respectively.

Periodic Censuses and Programs: Funding for the decennial census, which includes the ACS, is part of the Periodic Censuses and Programs ("Periodics") account, one of two main funding categories for the Census Bureau. The President's budget seeks $986.3 million for Periodics (which includes the 2010 census request) in FY2011, a substantial decrease from the FY2010 appropriation of $7.1 billion. The Periodics account covers activities related to the census, intercensal population estimates, and other cyclical programs.

The President is proposing a $26 million initiative to continuously update the Master Address File and TIGER digital mapping system throughout the decade, "which is expected to produce long-run cost savings," the Administration said. The detailed budget justification notes that ongoing updates of the address list and maps could support a "targeted address canvassing operation (as opposed to a 100 percent operation)" for the 2020 census.

In FY2011, the Census Bureau will continuing preparing for the 2012 quinquennial Economic Census and Census of Governments, both conducted in the years ending in "2" and "7." 2011 is the second year of the five-year cycle for both activities. Data collection occurs in 2013, reflecting 2012 activities and information. The President requested $113 billion for the Economic Census, which covers the manufacturing, mining, retail and wholesale trade service, construction, and transportation industries.

Economic statistics: The Census Bureau's second main funding category is Salaries and Expenses (S & E). The S & E account covers ongoing surveys, including the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and Quarterly Financial Surveys, to collect important demographic, economic, and social data. The budget proposes $280.4 million for Salaries and Expenses, an increase of $21 million over this year's funding level of $259 million for discretionary programs. (The S & E request also includes $30 million in mandatory spending for surveys on income and health insurance required by federal law, bringing the total request to $310 million.)

The Administration's S & E request includes $5 million for an initiative to "improve an important measure of poverty" by expanding research and production capacities to "supplement the official poverty measures with annual, alternative measures of poverty from the [Bureau of Labor Stastistics'] Current Population Survey." The budget also proposes a $9 million initiative to expand the Census Bureau's administrative records infrastructure, in an effort to make greater use of these records across various statistical programs.

Bureau of Economic Analysis:
The Census Bureau is one of two statistical agencies under the Commerce Department's Economic and Statistics Administration (ESA). The second agency, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), produces key economic statistics, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that support U.S. monetary and fiscal policies, trade negotiations, business planning, and personal savings and investment decisions. The President requested $113.2 million for BEA and ESA for FY2011, roughly $16 million more than the FY2010 $97 million funding level. The budget summary says that the additional funding will allow BEA to "develop new data series on key economic sectors (such as manufacturing and retail trade) and household consumption," giving policymakers "more timely, detailed, and robust data" on the nation's economy.

Editor's note: This Census News Brief is based on information released today about the President's budget request. We will keep stakeholders informed and refine this information as more details become available in the coming weeks.


The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund has prepared an "interim assessment of the [Census] Bureau's programs and outreach plans to Asian Americans." AALDEF, which launched a census campaign last summer that includes advocacy, multilingual community education, and legal advice, sent its report and recommendations to Census Director Robert Groves last week.

Based on a six month review of Census Bureau preparations for the 2010 census, AALDEF said the agency "generally has been responsive to the needs of Asian Americans," but noted some "problem areas" related to the hiring of Asian partnership specialists, concerns about confidentiality of census responses, and access to translated materials. AALDEF'S press release and report are available at

Voto Latino, a youth civic engagement organization, launched its "Be Counted, Represent!" campaign in New York State, using multi-platform web, mobile, direct and traditional media initiatives to "elevate the census in the minds of Latinos," according to the group's press announcement. The campaign builds on the idea that "Latino youth are pivotal household influencers," said Voto Latino Deputy Director Josh Norek, who noted that younger Latinos are familiar with government processes, speak English, and consume mainstream media. The campaign's web site,, will launch on February 2.

The University of Michigan is sponsoring a contest to promote student participation in the 2010 census. The university will award monetary prizes for short videos designed to encourage college students to answer the census. The director of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, James S. Jackson, said in a statement announcing the contest that videos can help convey an "important message that for college and university students, their census residence is their dorm, apartment, or rented housing - not their parents' home." More information about the contest is available at


✍ The Census Bureau has posted the 2010 Census Paid Media Buy List on its 2010 census web site, detailing media outlets that will broadcast or display advertisements for the 2010 count. In addition to the general audience communications campaign, there are ads targeting historically hard-to-count populations: Black; Latino; American Indian and Alaska Native; Asian; and Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and emerging populations. The Census Bureau is advertising in 28 languages. Access the list at

✍ The southern Florida Caribbean American community launched a new web site for its Caribbean American Complete Count Committee (CCC). The site offers census language assistance guides in five languages, a calendar of census events in Broward County, and Frequently Asked Questions of interest to Caribbean Americans. The CCC is associated with a broader 2010 census campaign for the Caribbean community spearheaded by the Institute of Caribbean Studies.


2010 Census Web Site : The Census Bureau's new 2010 census web site offers useful basic information on the census process, as well as sample questionnaires, information on job opportunities, and in-language materials. Add it to your "Bookmarks" bar to track mail response rates daily for your state and locality starting in late March.

2010 Census Web Site in Spanishy: New official 2010 census Spanish language web site.

2010 Census Jobs : Visit this web page to download a Census Practice Test and find information about the application process and a Local Census Office near you.

The Census Project : Visit the Census Project web site for previous Census News Briefs, fact sheets, and a weekly blog in support of an accurate 2010 census. Become a fan of the Census Project on Facebook at

Census 2010 Interactive Hard To Count Mapping Site : This new mapping site, developed by the City University of New York Mapping Services at the Graduate Center, allows users to pinpoint hard-to-count census tracts and identify the socio-economic characteristics that contribute to difficult enumeration conditions, allowing advocates to target outreach and tailor messages. The URL is

Leadership Conference Education Fund : The LCEF 2010 Census campaign offers fact sheets, a toolkit, data on the census undercount, and promotional materials to reach historically hard-to-count communities.

Nonprofits Count: The Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network's 2010 census campaign features fact sheets, a toolkit, posters and swag, and state-specific resources to help nonprofits promote census participation.

ya es hora ¡HAGASE CONTAR¡ : Resources and promotional materials, in Spanish and English, targeting the Latino population.

National Urban League
: This Census Information Center web page includes links to demographic information on the Black population, job opportunities, and other 2010 census materials.

Asian American Justice Center
: Resources and information, including in-language census forms, targeting the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations.

Indian Country Counts : Region-specific information, events, job listings, and tools for the American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

Census News Briefs are prepared by Terri Ann Lowenthal, an independent legislative and policy consultant specializing in the census and federal statistics. All views expressed in the News Briefs are solely those of the author. Please direct questions about the information in this News Brief to Ms. Lowenthal at Please feel free to circulate this document to other interested individuals and organizations. Ms. Lowenthal is a consultant to the nonpartisan Census Project, organized by the Communications Consortium Media Center in Washington, DC. Previous Census News Briefs are posted at

Contact information:
(tel.) 203-353-4364


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