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The Census Bureau's Director writes on how we measure America's people, places and economy.
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Editing: Fifty state governments provide the Census Bureau with administrative records from their central accounting system. These administrative records are unique to each state as each state is legally organized differently from every other state and as such each state has a unique organizational and accounting structure. The administrative records represent the core, or central, state government and are limited to revenues and expenditures. Statistics on state government revenues and expenditures are compiled from these administrative records by Census Bureau employees, according to the Census Bureau’s classification methodology as outlined in the Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual.
Imputation: Although every effort is made to obtain financial information from all state government entities, financial statements may not be available at the time the Census Bureau closes the processing, or governmental entities may not respond to our requests. As a result we use the unadjusted prior year data for these supplemental units until a response can be obtained. As such the data are subject to revisions each year. For those items where we do not have enough detail to separate a single activity into two or more functional categories we will develop an allocation for these items based on prior years’ information.
Sampling Error: These data are not subject to sampling error because this is a complete enumeration of all 50 State governments.