Tips and Documentation

Census Bureau’s partnership with states and territories

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The US Census Bureau has multiple efforts that involve states and territories. Four permanent, ongoing partnerships are State Data Centers, the Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates, the Governors’ Liaisons Network, and the Redistricting Data Program. These partnerships enable the Census Bureau to reach state leaders and stakeholders, transmit data to the states, improve data collection, and extend expert guidance and access to Census data and products.

Partnership program Scope of partnership
State Data Centers Extension of Census products and data to reach state and local data users
FSCPE Production of state and local population and housing unit estimates
Governors’ Liaisons List Communication on decennial census preparations
Redistricting Data Program Preparation and specification of legislative geographies and data tabs

State Data Centers

  • Established in 1978 for data assistance to state and local governments and the general public.
  • 56 State Leads, representing each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and US Island Areas.
  • Supported by 1,600 coordinating agencies and affiliates, which include local governments, university research centers, libraries and nonprofits.
  • Members are premier partners who extend Census’s reach and provide Census products, data, and training resources to interested audiences and the general public.
  • Support various Bureau programs including BAS, LUCA, Building Permits, and Census of Governments.
  • Provide feedback on data users’ needs and operational issues.
  • At the Census Bureau, the SDC program is coordinated by the Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office.
  • A steering committee representing the states works with Census Bureau staff to identify priorities and coordinate activities.

Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates

  • Established in 1967 to assist the Census Bureau with state and local population and housing unit estimates.
  • 56 members representing each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and US Island Areas.
  • Members are demographic experts who provide their local knowledge and insight to the Population Estimates Program, the media, and the public.
  • FSCPEs supply vital statistics, information about group quarters (such as college dorms or prisons), and housing unit components.
  • FSCPEs support efforts to improve the accuracy and timeliness of Census Bureau estimates by reviewing and providing comments on the population and housing unit estimates and methodology.
  • Participate in Decennial Count Review.
  • At the Census Bureau, the FSCPE program is coordinated by the Population Division.
  • A steering committee representing the states works with Census Bureau staff to identify priorities and coordinate activities.

Governors’ Liaisons List

  • Staff or appointees of governors, representing the governors of most states, Puerto Rico, and US Island Areas, and the District of Columbia.
  • During the 2020 Census cycle, the Governors’ Liaisons are a conduit for official communications. Communications include news of upcoming phases of preparation and Census activities in states, as well as discussions of state participation in 2020 Census partnership programs and geographic programs.
  • Throughout the decade, Census Bureau keeps the Governors’ Liaisons informed of the planning and implementation of the Economic Census, the Census of Governments, and major household surveys.
  • At the Census Bureau, the Governors’ Liaisons List is coordinated by the Intergovernmental Affairs Office.
  • There is not a steering committee of participants.

The roles of State Data Centers, FSCPEs, and Governor’s Liaisons may be overlapping. In some states, a single office may participate in two or three of these roles.

The map below identifies states where the State Data Center lead agency also has staff serving as FSCPE members (red), or Governor’s Liaisons (blue), or both (purple).



Source: US Census Bureau, June 2019. Information may change over time as governors reassign roles. Please notify our webteam of corrections.

Redistricting Data Program

  • State officials responsible for legislative apportionment or districting in each state and Puerto Rico.
  • During the 2020 Census cycle, this geographic designation program provides opportunity to specify the geographic bounds of legislative districts, voting districts, and related areas needing tabulations of population. The specification, transmittal and receipt of tabulations is a nonpartisan process that follows the political decisions concerning legislative and voting districts.
  • The US Census Bureau will deliver the specified 2020 Census tabulations to Governors and public bodies (Legislatures or Commissions) no later than April 1, 2021.
  • The Redistricting Data Program continues throughout the decade. State participants have a biennial opportunity to specify changes to legislative districts.
  • At the Census Bureau, the Redistricting Data Program is administered by the Redistricting Data Office.
  • There is not a steering committee of participants.

Refresher on Census’s embargo data access program

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Many of you have embargo data access privileges with the Census Bureau. This post is a refresher on the rules associated with the embargo access program.

Your embargo data access privileges allow you to download, review and analyze data prior to its public release. This early access enables you to provide relevant and accurate assistance. Access privileges also allow you to prepare a local news release to coincide with the Census Bureau’s release.

If you have embargo data access privileges, this access is for you alone. It is not to be shared with anyone.

Within your SDC, if there are co-workers who need embargo access, these co-workers can request their own embargo data access login. To discuss this possibility, please contact any member of the SDC Steering Committee.

Some SDC coordinating agencies have access. Please share this email with them, as they are subject to the same rules.

With this access, certain rules apply. The embargo policy is online, here:

Embargo access is granted on an individual basis only and cannot be shared with unapproved colleagues or associates

Embargoed news releases and data files may not be released to the public by any means (including print, broadcast, Internet, podcast, blogs, or in any other form) before the specified date and time of release. Failure to adhere to this embargo policy will result in the removal of embargo privileges of the reporter (or SDC participant) as follow:

  1. First breach – six-month suspension of embargo privileges.
  2. Subsequent breach – one-year suspension of embargo privileges. Reinstatement must be requested in writing …

The Census Bureau, through its Public Information Office, reserves the right to deny access to embargoed information to any entity that abuses embargo privileges.

If an embargo is broken, the Census Bureau will immediately release the data to the public and a notification will be sent alerting data users that the information is now available to the public.

The Associate Director for Communications or his designee has final approval on all matters pertaining to embargo access.

If you have questions about appropriate use of embargo data, please ask Census Bureau staff.

Finally, if you know of co-workers or SDC coordinating or affiliate colleagues who need embargo access, please contact any member of the SDC Steering Committee to discuss.

Thanks for your attention to this!


The SDC Network Steering Committee

Plan to Plan for the 2020 Census: Part 1 webinar

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New from North Carolina SDC
Plan to Plan for the 2020 Census: Part 1 webinar
The “Plan to Plan” webinar series will provide sessions on specific 2020 Census programs and operations. Numerous state-based partners are involved, and the series will discuss the possible roles of SDCs and their state networks. Webinar from December 13, 2016.
Find it here:

GSS Initiative – Draft Address Data Content Guidelines

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Geographic Support System (GSS) Initiative Announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau – Geography Divsion.

Draft address data content guidelines are now available as part of the U.S. Census Bureau – Geography Division’s GSS Initiative.

As a part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Geographic Support System Initiative (GSS-I), the Census Bureau is committed to accepting address and structure point data from our partners beginning in the second quarter of fiscal year 2013. These documents outline the address data elements and metadata that the Census Bureau identifies as optimal components in address and structure datasets.   Learn more

Optimal Address Data Submission Guidelines (Draft) – PDF

Census Address to FGDC Address Standard Crosswalk (Draft)  – PDF

Contact us at

SF2 Profile

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The 2010 Summary File 2 (SF2) profile was developed by the State Data Center (SDC) Network.  This profile allows users to run a profile on any race/ethnic group listed in the SF2, as long as there are 100 or more people of that specific group in a particular geographic area. We would like to thank John Blodgett of the University of Missouri for his excellent work converting the SF2 data files to SAS datasets. This has made the job of generating the 2010 SF2 profile much easier and more efficient.  We would also like to thank Xan Wedel of the University of Kansas who graciously helped with the SAS coding and proofreading the profile.

Download the SAS programs that can be used to generate the 11-page SF2 profile. A copy of the SF2 profile for Nevada is also provided in the zipped file as an example.

The programs are designed to run in two-phases:

Step 1:  Conversion phase:  convert SF2 data files to SAS data sets. You can download the 2010 SF2 data files from the census FTP site at  and run the conversion program ( to get the data converted to SAS data sets. The program is attached and can also be accessed at

Step 2:  Profile generation phase:  Generate the profile using the SAS data files output from Step 1 as input.

  •  This is the main SAS program used to run the profile. It is set up so the user can select to run only the section(s) of interest and comment out the other sections.  This code controls all of the other modules – you will only change this file when you run the profile.  The instructions on how to run the profile are included in the program.
  • contains the SAS code to generate the General Profile.
  • contains the SAS code to generate the Age Profile.
  • contains the SAS code to generate the Table of Contents.
  • – This file is used by the main routine.  Note that in the program, the specific geography (place and county) is for CA only so you will need to add the codes for your state.

SF1 SAS Profiles for Census 2010

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The 2010 Summary File 1 (SF1) profile was developed by the State Data Center (SDC) Network. The 2010 profile generally uses the same formats as the 2000 SF1 profile.

The SAS programs that are used to generate the 58-page SF1 profile are available in the zipped file below. Last revised 8/15/2011.

2010 Census Demographic Profile Template and Production Macro

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The California State Census Data Center has prepared a 2-column 2-page Demographic Profile in Excel.  Download this file and change the extension from “.xlsx” to “.xlsm” in order to ensure that this is an Excel 7.0 macro file.  Also ensure that you have set macros to be enabled.

Directions are contained within the Excel file.