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A History of the Economic Census and Disclosure Avoidance

CED-DA Report Series 2019-04
Laura McKenna
Component ID: #ti590909193


The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Economic Census under Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 9 mandate to not “use the information furnished under the provisions of this title for any purpose other than the statistical purposes for which it is supplied; or make any publication whereby the data furnished by any particular establishment or individual under this title can be identified; or permit anyone other than the sworn officers and employees of the Department or bureau or agency thereof to examine the individual reports (13 U.S.C. § 9 (2007)).” To compile a more comprehensive and complete data resource, the Census Bureau uses data obtained from other sources to supplement data collected in Economic Censuses and surveys. Through an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service, the Census Bureau obtains Federal Tax Information data whose disclosure is prohibited by Title 26 of U.S. Code. Administrative records provided by other federal and state agencies are also used in conjunction with commercial data purchased from various data brokers to further support the Census Bureau’s mission.

The Census Bureau applies Disclosure Avoidance (DA) techniques to its publicly released statistical products in order to protect the confidentiality of its respondents and their data. None of the information in this paper is confidential.

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