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The Census Bureau's Director writes on how we measure America's people, places and economy.
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Nonsampling Error: Although every effort is made in all phases of collection, processing, and tabulation to minimize errors, the data are subject to nonsampling errors such as inability to obtain data for every variable from all units in the population of interest, inaccuracies in classification, response errors, misinterpretation of questions, mistakes in keying and coding, and coverage errors. The section on Data Processing describes our efforts to mitigate errors due to nonresponse, keying, reporting errors, etc.
Overall Unit Response Rate: The overall unit response rate to the 2007 Census of Government Finance was 80.5 percent. All of the 50 state governments responded to the survey. In determining the unit response rate, a unit was determined to be a respondent if it provided information on at least one variable or if a budget or audit was available. This unit response rate was calculated for each state as well as for the total U.S., and provides the percentage of the units in the eligible universe that actually responded to the survey.
Total Quantity Response Rate: The Total Quantity Response Rate was calculated for certain key variables for each state. This response rate is computed separately for each key variable by summing the data provided by the respondents for the key variable and dividing this sum by the sum of the respondent data and the imputed data for the key variable. The result is multiplied by 100. Total Quantity Response Rates for 2007 are available in downloadable Excel files.