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Special Tabulations

Requesting a Special Tabulation

The Process

When requesting a special tabulation, the sponsor should provide a preliminary, general specification of the data needed. We will ask you some specific questions, and then work with you on developing a final, detailed specification that documents both your data needs and your geographic requirements. Please submit your request via e-mail (see contact information at the bottom).

Preliminary specifications should include:

  • Contact (name, telephone number, address, e-mail address)
  • Universe (e.g., population 18 years and over, renter-occupied housing units, etc.)
  • Data items
  • Geographic areas
  • Format of output file (e.g., ASCII, Excel, etc.)
  • Medium desired (e.g. diskette, paper, CD-ROM, e-mail)
  • Delivery date requested

Once we have agreed on the specification, we send it to our Disclosure Review Board for approval. Once a proposed tabulation is approved by the DRB, we contact the various programming staffs at the Census Bureau to determine their availability for performing the work within the requested time frame. Then, we will be able to deliver a cost and timing estimate to the sponsor. The cost of special tabulations may range from $1,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It should be noted that the Census Bureau maintains a publicly available list of all custom tabulations that includes the names of the requesters and a brief description of the products. Once produced, custom tabulations also will be available upon request for the cost of reproduction.


The timing of delivery depends on the level of complexity of the special tabulation. Special tabulations must be scheduled so that they do not interfere with the requirements of the Census Bureau work authorized by direct appropriations. We are currently working on many special tabulation requests. We cannot begin programming new requests until the contract is in place and payment received.

Contact Persons

Leanna Mellott and Colleen Keating
Coordinators for Census 2000 Special Tabulations
Decennial Programs Branch
Population Division
U.S. Census Bureau