The 24th United States Census will be observed on April 1, 2020, nationwide. By this date, every household will have received an invitation to participate, with three options for responding: online, by mail, or by phone.
You may have heard of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, and maybe you've used it. If you haven't, then you're in for a treat. If I had to pick one reference book or resource that I could have on a desert island, I would struggle to choose between a good dictionary, the World Almanac and Book of Facts, and the Statistical Abstract. If I could pick five reference resources to take with me, the Statistical Abstract would definitely be there.
The first Statistical Abstract (1878) was compiled by the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Statistics and included "statistical tables in regard to finance, coinage, commerce, immigration, tonnage and navigation, the postal service, public lands, railroads, agriculture, and mining." The abstract was compiled by the federal government (including the Bureau of the Census starting in 1938) through the 2012 abstract, when it was discontinued. The historical editions (1878-2012) are available online from the Census Bureau.
Starting with the 2013 abstract, the compiling and curating of the statistics was taken over by ProQuest and the publishing of the abstract by Bernan Press (Rowan & Littlefield). The abstract, called the Proquest Statistical Abstract of the United States, is available in print and in an online version and includes thirty sections covering a multitude of topics.
The 2020 abstract includes 1,421 tables with statistics from many different sources (associations, business organizations, commercial publishers, federal agencies, research organizations, state agencies, and universities). The U.S. Census Bureau is one of 168 sources, but its data shows up in 344 of the 1,421 tables (24.2%). That's about three times more than the Bureau of Labor Statistics (116 tables), about five times as much as the National Center for Health Statistics (80 tables), and about six times more than the Bureau of Economic Analysis (63 tables) and the National Center for Education Statistics (60 tables).
Here are a few examples of Census data you will find in the 2020 Proquest Statistical Abstract of the United States:
- Table 454; Apportionment Of Membership In House Of Representatives By State: 1800 To 2010 [Decennially]
See how the number of representatives from Colorado has changed over time from 1800 to 2010.
- Table 57; Language Spoken At Home—25 Largest Cities: 2017
See what percentage of Denver residents speak a language other than English (Spanish, Other Indo-European languages, Asian and Pacific Island languages) at home (2017).
- Table 445; Persons Reporting Voter Registration And Whether Voted By State: 2018 [As Of November]
See the total voting-age population for Colorado, the percentage of those registered to vote, and the percentage of those who voted (2018).
- Table 15; State Population—Rank, Percent Change, And Population Density: 1990 To 2018 [Selected Years, As Of April 1, Except 2018 As Of July 1]
See how Colorado population rank has changed between 1990 and 2018.
- Table 1148; Commuters By Commuting Time To Work For Top Metropolitan Statistical Areas: 2017
See how many commuters there are in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area and how many of them are commuting less than 10 minutes, 60 or more minutes, or somewhere in between (2017).
As you can see, the Statistical Abstract relies on a variety of sources, but none more so than the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau relies on all residents to respond to its various surveys, and perhaps no other survey is more important and critical than the Decennial Census, happening this spring. Responding to the census is required by law, and an accurate and complete count is essential for funding decisions and congressional redistricting. Learn more at Importance of the Data and Impact in Your Community.
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