|Agency Name:||Bureau of the Census|
|Formed:||July 1, 1903|
|Preceding1:||Temporary census offices|
|Headquarters:||Washington, D.C. Suitland, Maryland|
|Chief1 Position:||Steven H. Murdock|
|Parent Agency:||Economics and Statistics Administration|
The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census as defined in Title ) is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data. The Bureau of the Census is part of the United States Department of Commerce. The agency director is a political appointee selected by the current President.
See main article: United States Census. The Constitution of the United States (Article I, section II) directs that the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College. The Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a 0 (zero) and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population estimates and projections. In addition, Census data directly affect how more than $300 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation and much more. The Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, and economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code. In addition, the Census Bureau also conducts surveys on behalf of various Federal Government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, crime, health, consumer expenditures, and housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial (10-year) population counts. The Census Bureau also conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail, service, and other establishments and of domestic governments.
From 1790 to 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the judicial districts. The Census Act of 1840 established a central office which became known as the Census Office. Several acts followed revising and authorizing new censuses, typically around the 10 year intervals. In 1890 the first census using an electric tabulating machine invented by Herman Hollerith was conducted. In 1902 the temporary Census Office was moved under the Department of Interior, and in 1903 it was renamed the Census Bureau under the new Department of Commerce and the Interior. The department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department. An act around 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every 2 years and agriculture censuses every 10 years. In 1929, a bill was passed mandating that the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 census. In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the US Code.
Since 1903, the official census-taking agency of the United States government has been the Bureau of the Census. The Census Bureau is headed by a Director, assisted by a Deputy Director and an Executive Staff composed of the associate directors.
The Census Bureau headquarters is located at 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland. There are regional offices in 12 cities: Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and Los Angeles. The National Processing Center is located in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Additional temporary processing facilities are used to facilitate the decennial census, which employs more than a million persons. The cost of the 2000 decennial census was 4.5 billion dollars. During the years just prior to the decennial census, parallel Census offices, known as "Regional Census Centers" are opened in the 12 field office cities. The decennial operations are carried out expressly from these facilities. The Regional Census Centers will oversee the openings and closings of smaller "Local Census Offices" within their collection jurisdictions.
The Census Bureau also runs the Census Information Center cooperative program that involves 58 "national, regional, and local non-profit organizations." The CIC program aims to represent the interests of underserved communities.
The United States Census Bureau has four official regions, with nine official divisions.
The Census Bureau also maintains Population Radio, a real-time extrapolation of information on population, birth, and death to give their approximation of the number of people in the United States and the world.