MEDIA ADVISORY: Official To Discuss Mission, Challenges of Census Bureau

September 20, 2012

In 1790, U.S. census-takers had the most dangerous jobs in the country.

In the 1900s, the government-paid sled dogs got a food allowance to help census-takers get to frozen remote areas.

In the latest census in 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau spent $3 billion following up with households that didn't return their mailed census forms.

Today, the bureau’s work includes not only managing the decennial census, but also the annual American Community Survey, or ACS – now a matter of political debate. In May, the House of Representatives voted 232-190 to eliminate the ACS. Defenders of it point to its value in helping the federal government allocate more than $416 billion in federal funding.

These and other topics will be among those addressed by Victoria Velkoff, assistant division chief of the Census Bureau’s Population Division, in a talk titled "Money, Politics and Body Counts – A Day in the Life at the United States Census Bureau."

The talk, which takes place Friday from 11 a.m. to noon in the Garrett Hall Commons, is free and open to the public. U.Va. students in politics, public policy, commerce and sociology are especially encouraged to attend. Velkoff’s talk will include time for questions and answers.

The event is sponsored by U.Va.’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

Media Contact

Meredith Gunter

Outreach Director Demographics Research Group, Weldon Cooper Center