2000 Census: Better Productivity Data Needed for Future Planning and Budgeting

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Nonresponse follow-up was the most expensive and labor-intensive of all Census 2000 operations. The Census Bureau spent $1.2 billion and used more than 500,000 enumerators to obtain census information from 42 million nonresponding households in less than 10 weeks. Because of this colossal workload, even small variations in productivity had significant cost implications. Workload and enumerator productivity have historically been two of the largest drivers of census costs, and the Bureau developed its budget model for the 2000 Census using key assumptions about these two variables. ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. October 4, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Nonresponse follow-up was the most expensive and labor-intensive of all Census 2000 operations. The Census Bureau spent $1.2 billion and used more than 500,000 enumerators to obtain census information from 42 million nonresponding households in less than 10 weeks. Because of this colossal workload, even small variations in productivity had significant cost implications. Workload and enumerator productivity have historically been two of the largest drivers of census costs, and the Bureau developed its budget model for the 2000 Census using key assumptions about these two variables. Nationally, enumerators completed their nonresponse follow-up workload at a rate of 1.04 housing units per hour--slightly exceeding the Bureau's expected rate of 1.03 housing units per hour. Productivity varied for the four primary types of local census offices, ranging from 0.90 housing units per hour in inner-city and urban areas to 1.10 cases per hour in rural areas. In refining the data, the Bureau corrected what it considered to be the most significant discrepancy--a misclassification of some employees' time charges that overstated the number of hours worked by nonresponse follow-up enumerators and understated enumerator production rates."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • October 4, 2001

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. 2000 Census: Better Productivity Data Needed for Future Planning and Budgeting, report, October 4, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294779/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.