Census Bureau’s partnership with states and territories

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The US Census Bureau has multiple efforts that involve states and territories. Three permanent, ongoing partnerships are State Data Centers, the Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates, and the Governors’ Liaisons Network. 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.

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.

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.

Governors’ Liaisons Network

  • Staff or appointees of governors, representing the governors of each state, Puerto Rico, and US Island Areas, and the mayor of District of Columbia.
  • During the 2020 Census cycle, the Governors’ Liaisons are a conduit for official communication with the governors.
  • Communications include news of upcoming phases of preparation and Census activities in states, as well as invitations for state participation in 2020 Census partnership programs and geographic programs.
  • At the Census Bureau, the Governors’ Liaisons Network is coordinated by the Intergovernmental Affairs Office.

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 and territories where the State Data Center lead agency also has staff who serve as FSCPE members (red), or Governor’s Liaisons (blue), or both (purple).

Source: State Data Centers survey, October 2017, and  This information is self-reported by SDC state leads. Information may change over time as governors reassign roles. Please notify our webteam of corrections.

End-User Testing of DataFerrett

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Doug Hillmer is currently working with the Census Bureau team of programmers that supports the DataFerrett application to help them improve the overall usability of the application.  An essential step in this project is an end-user test currently planned for mid-November.  Doug is leading this test effort.  He has asked the SDC Steering Committee to inform the entire SDC network about this upcoming test and to pass on his call for participation by SDC members who use DataFerrett (either occasionally or frequently).

Doug has promised send out materials to each participating tester well in advance.  Recognizing that we all have our regular work to get done, the tests are being planned to keep the burden minimal (hopefully, under two hours) for each participating tester.  The entire end-user testing effort will occur over a period of 3 days (exact dates to be announced).

We hope SDC members using DataFerrett will agree to participate, since this effort will contribute to enhanced usability of this important application.  To volunteer to participate or to request more information, send Doug an email at