Policy ForumSAMPLING

A One-Number Census: Some Related History

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Science  22 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5401, pp. 491-492
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5401.491

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The U. S. Bureau of the Census plans to produce one best set of official counts of the population of the United States in the year 2000--a one-number census--by integrating the results of conventional counting techniques with results from probability sampling techniques. On 30 November 1998, the U. S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two combined cases against the Census Bureau's Plan (one brought by Congress), which were appealed by the White House. Awaiting the Supreme Court ruling and complete results from a dress rehearsal in three diverse sites, this article reflects briefly on the need for and origins of the one-number census concept.