Written by: Director Robert Groves
Today the Census Bureau delivered the final state-level files from the 2010 Census, permitting the redistricting process that will produce 435 geographical areas of representation for the House of Representatives. As with other operations of the 2010 Census, we’re a little ahead of mandated schedule.
Looking back over the past few months, all seems like a whirl of frenetic activity, with thousands of Census Bureau staff working long hours diligently, producing the initial files, carefully checking the quality of every response we obtained, making sure all the answers were consistent, and assembling counts for many different levels of geography. These data processing staff are committed to quality, and they don’t permit the release of counts until all the quality reviews have been passed. Then a whole set of experts in particular substantive areas (e.g., race/ethnicity, housing) examined all the counts, comparing them to other sources of data (e.g., the American Community Survey estimates), looking for anomalies. Many of these experts will now turn to doing their own analyses of the data, but our first duty is to get the counts out to the thousands of users in the states.
The vast majority of these staff do their jobs without fanfare or public visibility. They are public servants, in the sense that what motivates their day-to-day work is that they are contributing to a keystone of our society, based in the constitution, motivated by deep principles of the founding fathers. As statisticians, computer scientists, and demographers, it doesn’t get better than this.
I am proud to be a part of this group; they’re special people, and they deserve the thanks of all of us at this moment of their success.