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Memorandum 2017.19: Release of Uses of Census Bureau Data in Federal Funds Distribution

Memorandum 2017.19
Component ID: #ti438031722

This memorandum documents the release of Uses of Census Bureau Data in Federal Funds Distribution.

In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau issued a working paper that found “more than $400 billion” of federal funds were distributed using Census Bureau data. This estimate was frequently used to illustrate the value of accurate Census Bureau data to the public, part of the effort to encourage timely survey and census responses. The “more than $400 billion” estimate is based on fiscal year 2007 obligations. As the Census Bureau actively prepares for the 2020 Census, an updated estimate becomes increasingly important.

Census Bureau data, for the scope of this analysis, includes decennial census program data (decennial census data, American Community Survey (ACS) data, and geographic program data) as well as related datasets that use decennial census program data as an input, such as the Population Estimates Program.

Of the federal assistance programs of all types listed within the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), at least 132 programs (or approximately 6 percent) used Census Bureau data to distribute funds in fiscal year 2015. Among these programs are some of the largest federal assistance programs, with allocations totaling more than $675 billion.

Component ID: #ti751036930

The 2020 Census Memorandum Series

The 2020 Census Memorandum Series documents significant decisions, actions, and accomplishments of the 2020 Census Program for the purpose of informing stakeholders, coordinating interdivisional efforts, and documenting important historical changes.

A memorandum generally will be added to this series for any decision or documentation that meets the following criteria:

  1. A major program level decision that will affect the overall design or have significant effect on 2020 Census operations or systems.
  2. A major policy decision or change that will affect the overall design or significantly impact 2020 Census operations or systems.
  3. A report that documents the research and testing for 2020 Census operations or systems.


Visit 2020census.gov to access the Memorandum Series, the 2020 Census Operational Plan, and other information about preparations for the 2020 Census.

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