Federal Eye: Former Census Directors Offer a Head Count Primer

If you think the U.S. Census Bureau sits around waiting to count Americans between the years ending in zero, you’re wrong, according to two former bureau directors.
Louis Kincannon
Dr. Louis Kincannon served as U.S. Census Bureau director from 2002 to 2008.

“Every Census has about a 15-year cycle,” Dr. Martha Farnsworth Riche, who served as director in the mid-1990s, said today. “When I left the Census Bureau in 1998, I was already planning the 2010 Census. And it will end in 2013 when they do the final analysis and close the books.”

Dr. Louis Kincannon, who ran the bureau from 2002 to 2008, concurred noting that he helped put the finishing touches on next year’s Census.

“Extensive testing was conducted throughout the decade, both field tests where you did complete operations and defined geographic areas, and a final dress rehearsal in Fayetteville, N.C. where you really tried to do everything the way you [actually would do it],” he said.

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