Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Figure for 2010 Census: $1.6 Billion Under Budget

The bureau said Tuesday, for instance, that its 2010 count would cost about $1.6 billion less than budgeted. This works out to about 11 percent less than the $14.7 billion appropriated over 12 years for the 2010 count, and 22 percent less than budgeted for this year.

Census enumerators knocked on the doors of 47 million households that did not return the mailed questionnaire, the bureau reported. Enumerators failed 22 percent of the time to interview the residents personally and had to rely on neighbors or building managers for information about those households. Ten years ago, those so-called proxy reports accounted for 17 percent of the enumerator follow-ups.

On the other hand, enumerators discovered occupants in 27 percent of the 5.6 million addresses that had been considered vacant or that could not initially be found, and at 3.1 million addresses that were provided at the last minute by the Postal Service.

This was still the most expensive census ever. For the 2000 count, the bureau’s budget was $7 billion, but it underspent by $305 million, or less than one-twentieth of the 12-year budget.

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