CENSUS NEWS BRIEF--February 11, 2005
President Sends FY06 Budget to Congress Plus: House Creates New Census
New Commerce Secretary Confirmed
President Bush sent his detailed Fiscal Year 2006 budget proposal to
Congress on February 7, setting in motion the process for funding
federal programs starting October 1, 2005. The budget seeks $877.4
million for the Census Bureau, roughly an 18 percent increase over this
years funding level of $744.8 million. Last year, the President
requested a 30 percent increase for the Census Bureau, but Congress
scaled back the appropriation by $84 million.
In a statement on the Presidents budget, Commerce Secretary Carlos
Gutierrez said the increase requested by the Administration will
support initiatives that will significantly improve the breadth and
quality of the information it collects and provides to the country.
Among these initiatives is the administrating (sic) of the American
Community Survey, modernizing the geographic database information, and
developing and testing plans for the Decennial Census based on only a
The Administration requested $466.5 million to continue planning the
2010 census, an increase of $74 million (about 19 percent) over the FY05
appropriation of $392.6 million. The Census Bureau would continue
reengineering the census to collect basic demographic data needed to
fulfill constitutional and legal mandates only, implementing the
American Community Survey (ACS) to replace the traditional census long
form, and updating its geographic database (Master Address File and
TIGER digital mapping system) and aligning map features with Global
Positioning System coordinates. In an overview of its budget request,
the Commerce Department noted that the 2010 census program will focus on
reducing operational risk, improving accuracy, providing more relevant
data, and containing cost.
In FY06, the Census Bureau will conduct a major field test in Travis
County, Texas, and on the Cheyenne Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Preliminary plans for the 2006 field test include testing (1) procedures
to improve census coverage (such as large household follow-up, use of
administrative records, imputation, and residence rule clarifications);
(2) methods for coverage measurement; (3) automated field data
collection using hand-held computers; (4) delivery of questionnaires in
English and Spanish; (5) mailing replacement questionnaires to
unresponsive households; and (6) improved methods to count group
quarters (such as college dorms) and people without a usual home.
The Presidents FY06 budget does not specify the amount of 2010 census
funds to be used for the ACS; however, other Census Bureau documents
indicate a proposed appropriation of roughly $170 million for the
survey. The Administration asked for $165 million to launch the ACS
nationwide in 2005, including $10 million for one-time start-up costs;
it received $146 million (reduced to $144 million after a
government-wide recission). The American Community Survey will continue
nationwide in FY06, with the first estimates for places of 65,000 or
greater population released in the summer of 2006. The Census Bureau
expects to add group quarters to the ACS in 2006; Congress declined to
fund that component of the survey in 2005.
The Administration is seeking $80 million for the MAF/TIGER Enhancements
Program, slightly less than the program received this year. The budget
calls for correcting geographic locations in an additional 700 counties
as part of the multi-year effort to improve TIGER accuracy.
Funding for the decennial census is part of the Periodic Censuses and
Programs (Periodics) account, one of two main funding categories for
the Census Bureau. The Periodics account covers activities related to
the census, intercensal population estimates, and other cyclical
programs such as the quinquennial (thats every five years, folks!)
Economic Census and Census of Governments. The Presidents budget seeks
$657.4 million for Periodics in FY06, an increase of $109 million over
FY05, including $10.4 million for annual demographic estimates (an
increase of $1.2 million over FY05).
The budget proposes $220 million for Salaries and Expenses (S & E), $24
million more than this years appropriation of $196 million, but the
same amount requested for Fiscal Year 2005. The S & E account covers
ongoing surveys (such as the Survey of Income and Program Participation)
to collect important demographic, economic, and social data.
New Commerce Secretary takes office: Carlos M. Gutierrez was sworn in
this week as the 35th Secretary of Commerce. The U.S. Census Bureau is
part of the Commerce Departments Economic and Statistics
Administration. Born in Havana, Cuba, Secretary Gutierrez is the former
chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the Kellogg
New House panel to oversee census: The House Committee on Government
Reform has created a new Subcommittee on Federalism and the Census to
oversee activities of the Census Bureau in the 109th Congress. The
jurisdiction of the newly-organized panel includes population and
demography generally, including the Census, and the Bureau of Economic
Analysis, as well as unfunded mandates, grant management reform,
brownfields clean-up and redevelopment, and oversight of housing and
Second-term Representative Michael R. Turner (R-OH-3rd) will chair the
subcommittee. Chairman Turner is a former mayor of Dayton and a lawyer
by profession. According to the congressmans biography, his wife, Lori
Turner, is a professional marketer and is the sole proprietor of
Dayton-based Turner Marketing. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO-1st), from St.
Louis, is the ranking minority member on the subcommittee; he held that
position on the previous subcommittee with jurisdiction over the census.
The next Census News Brief will provide complete information on
membership of the House and Senate committees responsible for overseeing
activities of and appropriating funds for the Census Bureau.
Census News Briefs are prepared by Terri Ann Lowenthal, an independent
consultant in Washington, DC, with support from The Annie E. Casey
Foundation and other organizations. 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 202/484-3067 or
by e-mail at TerriAnn2K(a)aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this
document to other interested individuals and organizations.
19900 Governors Dr
Olympia Fields, IL 60461