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About Public Sector

The Census Bureau’s Public Sector program is the definitive source of comprehensive, uniform statistics on economic activity of state and local governments. Public sector data track the changes in government activity over time. The data provide an economy-wide perspective when taken together with retail, wholesale, manufacturing, and services sector data. The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Federal Reserve Board use public sector data to measure the nation's economic and financial performance. State and local governments use the data to develop programs and budgets, assess financial conditions, and perform comparative analyses.  

Public sector surveys cover total number of local governments, employment and wages, public pensions, and state and local finance and taxation. The data are available by government function; for example, education, fire protection, administrative and legal services, infrastructure, parks and recreation, health services, and utilities.  


  • Building Permits: Provides data on the number of new housing units authorized by building permits. Data are available monthly, year- to- date, and annually at the national, state, selected metropolitan area, county and place levels.
  • Census of Governments: A quinquennial census conducted in years ending in ‘2’ and ‘7’. Statistics cover state and local governments and sets benchmarks for public finance and public employment, in addition to providing official counts on state and local governments, special districts, and school districts.
  • Congressional and Intergovernmental: The Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (OCIA) advises the Census Bureau’s Director, senior executive staff, and program areas on congressional, intergovernmental and tribal affairs, and correspondence management.
  • Congressional Apportionment: The process of dividing the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states. The Census Bureau conducts the decennial census every year ending in ‘0’.
  • Criminal Justice Statistics: The U.S. Census Bureau conducts reimbursable projects for the Bureau of Justice Statistics and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Census Bureau collects and provides statistics on topics such as sexual victimization, capital punishment, juvenile residential facilities, characteristics of youth in custody, and criminal justice expenditures.
  • The Criminal Justice Administrative Records System (CJARS): A joint project of the U.S. Census Bureau and the University of Michigan, is a nationally integrated data infrastructure project designed to transform research and policy-making on the United States criminal justice system.
  • Federal Spending: Federal spending on selected programs.
  • Government Employee Retirement Systems: Financial statistics on state and local government employee retirement systems, including revenues, expenditures, assets, and membership information for state- and locally-administered defined benefit public pensions.
  • Government Employment and Payroll: Statistics on the number of federal, state, and local government civilian employees by full- and part-time status and their gross payrolls by functional category.
  • Government Finances (Local Government Finance/State Government 
    : Revenues, expenditures, debt, and assets (cash and security holdings). Although states and local governments differ in how they record their activities in their legislative and accounting systems, the Census Bureau classifies their data into standard categories so that they may be compared more easily.
  • Government Organization and Structure: Provides counts of governments in the United States by state and type, along with counts for school systems.
  • Government Taxes (State Tax Collections/ Quarterly Tax Revenues): Estimates of state and local government tax revenue at the national and state level.
  • Library Statistics: The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) sponsor surveys about libraries. The U.S. Census Bureau acts as the collection agent for these surveys, but the data themselves are available through the sponsoring agency.
  • Program Income and Public Assistance: The primary source of information for income and program participation. Data and measures for many topics including: economic well-being, family dynamics, education, assets, health insurance, childcare, and food security.
  • Public Education Statistics: The U.S. Census Bureau conducts annual reimbursable surveys for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and provides statistics on education. The data are available through the sponsoring agency.
  • Redistricting Data: Required by law, the Redistricting Data Program provides states the opportunity to specify the small geographic areas for which they wish to receive decennial population totals for the purpose of reapportionment and redistricting.
  • Survey of State Government Research and Development (SGRD): Conducted jointly with the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, this survey is the primary source of data on R&D performed or funded by departments and agencies in 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico.
  • Voting and Registration: Statistics about whether individuals were registered and/or voted in specific national elections. For the purpose of these estimates, election types are considered to be either congressional (e.g. 2002, 2006, etc.) or presidential (e.g. 2004, 2008, etc.).

Inactive Program

The Federal Financial Statistics program was terminated effective with the FY 2012 budget. This resulted in the elimination of the Consolidated Federal Funds Report, including the publication, downloadable data, and the On-Line Query System, as well as the annual Federal Aid to States Report.

The historical publications are still available.

Page Last Revised - February 1, 2022
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