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Chief, Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau

David S. Johnson is the chief of the Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division (formerly the Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division) at the U.S. Census Bureau. The division compiles and analyzes data on the socioeconomic characteristics of households, families and individuals, including the homeownership rates, income, poverty and health insurance statistics, the new measures for same-sex relationships, the current effort to reengineer the Survey of Income and Program Participation, and the development of the new supplemental poverty measure.

Before joining the Census Bureau, Johnson served as the Assistant Commissioner for Consumer Prices and Price Indexes at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). He began his federal career at BLS, where he started in 1990 as a research economist in the Division of Price and Index Number Research, and eventually became chief of the division. While at BLS, he was involved in the Alternative Poverty Measurement program at the Census Bureau, co-authoring the first Experimental Poverty Measures report, and assisted in many other Census Bureau reports.

Johnson has written several journal articles on such topics as the measure of consumption inequality and mobility, the effects of tax rebates, equivalence scale estimation, poverty measurement, specification testing, and the well-being of children. He has published articles in the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Review of Income and Wealth, and Monthly Labor Review. During the last year, he was on leave as a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, where he researched income and consumption inequality and distributional measures for the national accounts.

Johnson received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from the University of Puget Sound, earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Minnesota and has been an adjunct faculty member for Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute.

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