Census Bureau to Return $1.6 Billion to Federal Government

(Seattle, WA) U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves announced that the Census Bureau will be returning no less than $1.6 billion to the federal government, saving taxpayer dollars and demonstrating outstanding management of the 2010 Census.

(Seattle, WA) U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves announced that the Census Bureau will be returning no less than $1.6 billion to the federal government, saving taxpayer dollars and demonstrating outstanding management of the 2010 Census.

“The 2010 Census was a massive undertaking with great risk for operational problems and cost overruns,” Locke said. “But with the leadership of Dr. Groves and his team at the Census Bureau, we had an incredibly successful count that came in on time and well under budget.”

The $1.6 billion represents a 22% savings of the entire funding appropriated for the 2010 Census program. The rebate breaks down to:
• $800 million in unspent contingency funds: Contingency money was set aside in the event of natural disasters, pandemic illness or other unplanned developments that could severely disrupt operations.
• $650 million in savings during the door-to-door, non-response follow-up operations: In-person interviews are the most expensive part of the census. Great support and participation from the American people meant that census workers had to visit 47 million households, instead of the estimated 50 million budgeted. In the end, 72% of Americans returned their completed 2010 Census questionnaire.
• $150 million in net savings from all other operations: Other 2010 Census operations, such as counting group quarters, special operations to count Indian Reservations and remote Alaska and the Be Counted operation were completed under budget.

Both Locke and Groves cited cooperation from the American people, a highly-qualified and efficient work force and a well-managed 2010 Census as reasons for the tax dollar savings.

“The Census management team, along with a dedicated census workforce, worked diligently to ensure we keep the census on track and on schedule while being vigilant with taxpayer dollars,” Groves said. “Early data are showing improvements in the quality of the field work even as we achieved these savings. We will remain focused until all 2010 Census operations are completed.”

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census takes place every 10 years. Census data determine boundaries for state and local legislative and congressional districts. More than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed annually based on census data to pay for local programs and services, such as schools, highways, emergency services, unemployment benefits and much more. Learn more about the 2010 Census at www.2010.census.gov.

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