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Decennial Census of Population and Housing Special Tabulations

Requesting a Decennial Census 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 to develop a final, detailed specification that documents both your data needs and your geographic requirements. Please submit your request via e-mail to

Preliminary specifications should include:

  • Contact information (name, telephone number, address, e-mail address)
  • Data 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.)
  • Delivery method desired (e.g., FTP, e-mail)
  • Delivery date requested

Once we have agreed on the specification, we send it to our Disclosure Review Board (DRB) 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. It should be noted that the Census Bureau maintains a publicly available list of all special tabulations that includes the names of the requesters and a brief description of the products. Once produced, special tabulations also will be available upon request for the cost of reproduction.

Cost and Timing

Special tabulations must be scheduled so that they do not interfere with the requirements of the Census Bureau work authorized by direct appropriations. The cost and timing of delivery also depends on the level of complexity of the special tabulation. Each program area reviews custom tabulation requests on an individual basis to determine what expertise, resources, and technology are needed to complete each tabulation.  Since each custom tabulation is reviewed individually, pricing will vary.  Most special tabulations will cost a minimum of $3000 and can take from several weeks to months to complete.  We cannot begin programming new requests until the contract is in place, payment is received, and the request has been approved by the Disclosure Review Board.

Means of Payment

We can accept payment by credit card (non-federal sponsors only) or other contractual agreement. Federal sponsors must obtain their special tabulation through an Interagency Agreement. The coordinator assigned to work on the special tabulation will discuss the details of the payment transaction with the sponsor.

Contact Persons

Leanna Mellott and Colleen Keating
Coordinators for 2010 Census Special Tabulations


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