The Census Bureau Is A Wealth Of Information!

About every other year or so I receive in the mail a census questionnaire, and I’ve always wondered what the point was and what the Census Bureau did with data, and why the general public cared.

The Census Bureau is the nation’s leading source of quality data on the U.S. people and economy.

The central goal of the Census Bureau is to provide the public with the best mix of quality, timeliness, relevancy, and cost for the data they collect and the services the Bureau provides.

Examples of how people use Census data:

Calculate Market Share
A restaurant supply wholesaler calculated that it had roughly an 11-percent market share–its own sales divided by state totals for similar businesses– in its primary sales region in the northern mountain states. The wholesaler used that figure as a target when it expanded into Arizona and New Mexico.

Gauge the Competition
A manufacturer compared statistics for his company with industry-wide figures in census reports. He became concerned when he found that they achieved less value added per employee than the competition–represented by industry averages. Census figures helped him convince the company’s Board of Directors to reduce administrative staff and take other measures to increase productivity and profitability.

Locate Business Markets
A man who had developed software for managing quality control operations made a list of industries most likely to use his product, then ranked the top industries based on census figures on value added and growth. He customized his software to appeal to those top prospects. Census data on CD-ROM made it easy to find areas where large plants in the target industries were located.

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