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To identify local governments for the Census of Governments, and provide selected data on local governments. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for voluntary responses.
Special district governments. A government organization must be an identifiable entity, have a governmental character, be active at the start of the census year, and operate with substantial autonomy.
Data collected include information on name and addresses, functions performed (such as education, health services, and police protection), board composition, authorizing legislation, and internet prescence.
Government organization data and information are for October of the year preceding the Census (2006, 2001, and so forth). Employment data are for October of the year preceding the Census. The census has been conducted every five years since 1957, for years ending in "2" and "7" (as part of the Census Bureau's periodic Economic Censuses). Reference periods for data vary by census phase.
The survey consists of a pre-census directory survey of the more than 89,000 local governments. It includes extensive legal research into government structure by state, as well as a mail-out/mail-back survey, and produces an updated list of all local governments and selected data.
Public releases include electronic files followed by printed reports. Printed format includes Volume 1, No 1: Government Organization.
The primary uses include a comprehensive description of state and local government organization in the United States as well as a frame for both the Census of Governments, and its annual surveys.
Provides the only source of periodic information that identifies and describes all units of government in the U.S. and reflects the use of nationally consistent definitions and classifications.