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John Stevenson's picture

Statistical Abstract of the United States - Re: update on Census Bureau program cuts

After Lori Smith's GOVDOC-L posting "Re: update on Census Bureau program cuts" was shared with the ALA Council list, I responded with the following.  I invite GODORT members who are interested in preserving this publication and the Census units which compile it to share information and talking points here.


As Larry Romans noted, there's been a trickle of news about this but the email you forwarded contains important information.  For some years now, the Statistical Abstract of the United States has been issued in three formats.  While much is available online and on CD-ROM, librarians have noticed that the electronic rights to some of the privately gathered data prevents it from being made included in electronic editions.  
As Counselor for the Government Documents Round Table, I will work with my round table and other concerned groups to gather information about the publications and the data-compiling units affected.  My sense is that this publication, now in its 130th edition, is a wonderful tool that shouldn't be sacrificed without discussion to save a small amount of money.


John Stevenson's picture

The Census Bureau publications proposed for elimination go beyond the Statistical Abstract, according the GPO Help site.  Under the topic "Statistical Abstract and the Consolidated Federal Funds Report, and other noted publications from theStatistical Compendia Branch (Census Bureau)" the Help site states:


We've heard the Census Bureau has announced it is going to discontinue the Statistical Abstract and the Consolidated Federal Funds Report.

Can you confirm this information?



A representative of the agency states:

"The just released 2012 budget does not include funding for the Statistical Compendia Branch which would mean the elimination of not only the Statistical Abstract, but all titles produced by that branch (State and Metropolitan Area Data Book, County and City Data Book, USA Counties, Quick Facts). No new editions would be produced in print or online. We have already started work on the Statistical Abstract 2012 edition and are still working on the local area products. We will continue to work on these products and have a contingency plan to have the Statistical Abtract 2012 out by the end of September, due to our uncertain future."

The Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR) was proposed for termination in the FY 2012 Budget.  The FY 2010 CFFR will be the last publication. The data can be accessed at http://www.census.gov/govs/cffr/.  

John A. Stevenson
Associate Librarian, Student Multimedia Design Center
University of Delaware Library
302 831-8671

Geoffrey Swindells's picture

Ellen Simmons, Kay Cassell and I just got off the phone with the Washington Office. The Washington Office will be issuing a legislative alert later in the day on this issue. One of us will post details once the alert is issued. -Geoff

Geoff Swindells

Ellen Simmons (non-member)'s picture

Contact appropriators and tell them to oppose the defunding of the Statistical Compendia Branch!



In the coming weeks both the Senate and the House Appropriations committees will be working on the FY2012 budget.  Please take the time to inform them about the importance of the Statistical Compendia Branch’s work.

When President Obama released his 2012 Budget Request to Congress, he included the U.S. Census Bureau’s Budget Estimates, which called for the termination of their Statistical Compendia Branch.  

This branch compiles and releases such reports as the Statistical Abstract and the National Data Book that include usable data for the American public.  As the Bureau’s own Budget Estimate states, “the abstract provides a comprehensive summary of industrial, social, economic, and political data…of almost 300 government, private, and international agencies”. 

Message to Congress:

  • Continue funding for the Statistical Compendia Branch
  • The Statistical Compendia Branch compiles and releases important reports such as the Statistical Abstract and the National Data Book that provide understandable data to a wide swath of the American public.
  • This material is used by librarians, educators, students, private businesses, state and local government officials, etc.

There is no other existing location where this data can be found in a similar usable format.

James Jacobs's picture

FYI we just posted to FGI more background and a sample letter to send to your legislators. Please forward far and wide!